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VIDEO: Governor ‘Grateful’ To Have Ali on Staff

Gov. Bill Haslam says he never spoken to Samar Ali, the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development employee whose hiring has drawn ire from some county GOP chapters.

“This is somebody that’s very Tennessee,” Haslam told reporters in Dickson Wednesday. “This is somebody who could have a lot of great jobs a lot of places and could quite frankly make a lot more money than she’s making working for the state. But she cared enough about her home state to come back here and I’m grateful that she’s part of our team.”

At least eight county Republican party chapters have passed resolutions condemning the governor for, among other things, allowing his administration to hire a Muslim.