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Haslam's request to remove Bedford bust from Capitol denied

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A bid by Tennessee's governor to remove a bust of Confederate cavalry general and early Ku Klux Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest from the state Capitol building has been rejected. The State Capitol Commission voted 7-5 on Friday against petitioning for moving the bust from the Capitol to the new state museum being built nearby. Republican Gov. Bill Haslam called for the removal after last month's deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Forrest amassed a fortune as a plantation owner and slave trader in Memphis before enlisting. State lawmakers voted to place his bust in the Capitol more than a century after the end of the Civil War. Comptroller Justin Wilson spoke out against the unelected panel overruling the Legislature's vote to place the bust in the Capitol.

Those voting against Haslam's request: Secretary of State Tre Hargett, State Treasurer David Lillard, Comptroller of the Treasury Justin Wilson, Senator Jack Johnson, Representative Curtis Johnson, and citizen appointees Tammy White and King Rogers.

Commission chairman Larry Martin, General Services Bob Oglesby, Environment and Conservation Bob Martineau, TN Historical Commission chair Reavis Mitchell and Howard Gentry voted for the request.

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