Former Tenn. Governors Can Get Free Rides From THP

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A newspaper has found that Tennessee's former governors are eligible for free rides from the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

The Tennessean of Nashville reported that most of the free rides were in the Nashville area, but that one former governor, Ned McWherter, receives several rides a week around his West Tennessee home.

Department of Safety spokesman Mike Browning said unmarked cars and drivers from the governor's security detail are available to any former governor who asks for one.

McWherter, a 77-year-old Democrat, served two terms as governor and was previously speaker of the Tennessee House for 14 years. He did not return a phone message left by the newspaper.

Governor Bredesen, a Democrat, and his Republican predecessor Don Sundquist said they don't have a problem with drivers being made available to McWherter.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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