Many across the state today are mourning former Tennessee Governor Ned McWherter, who passed away at the age of 80. The current governor, Bill Haslam, issued this statement:
This is a sad day for Tennessee. Governor McWherter was a true statesman who cared about this state and its citizens. He had a long and distinguished career in the legislative and executive branches as well as in business. I will always be grateful for his personal kindness to me and the wise advice he gave me during my first months in office. Crissy’s and my thoughts and prayers go out to Mike and the entire McWherter family during this difficult time.
Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey released the following:
Few men have meant as much to as many Tennesseans as Gov. Ned Ray McWherter. This state has lost a true statesman and a true original. My heart and the hearts of all Tennesseans go out to the McWherter family today.
Here’s a partial statement from Sen. Roy Herron, who is regarded by some as McWherter’s political heir. (Herron was first elected to the Legislature in the House seat held by McWherter before the latter became governor.)
Governor McWherter was our greatest governor during my lifetime, and I believe he was our greatest governor during Tennessee’s lifetime.
Governor McWherter led Tennessee to set records in the economy, job growth, education, building roads, criminal justice, healthcare, lowering taxes and debt.
While I certainly remember McWherter being in office during my first years in Tennessee, I was not a student of state government at the time. It’s too bad, because I likely could have learned a lot about the state’s politics from studying this apparent master.
Much more recently I met Mike McWherter, and the admiration he holds for his father was immediately recognizable.
My thoughts are with the McWherter family and with all Tennesseans as we celebrate the life of the departed.
More remembrances can be found at WBIR’s website.