Does the road to the White House run through Knoxville?

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Knoxville’s attracting some prospective Republican presidential candidates.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican running for re-election against Democrat Charlie Crist, will speak here Wednesday, Sept. 21, at an 11:30 a.m. luncheon at Copper Cellar West.

The private event is “a sellout at 140,” Susan Richardson Williams, long-time GOP stalwart who helped organize the luncheon, said Thursday.

And former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley did more than pick up a Patriot Award at the Congressional Medal of Honors celebration while in Knoxville a week ago. She spoke at a Republican fundraising event for U.S. Reps. Tim Burchett and Diana Harshbarger, where she was described as a potential presidential or vice presidential candidate.

Patriot Award recipient Nikki Haley during the Patriot Awards Gala hosted by the Medal of Honor Convention at the Knoxville Conventional Center on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022.

“I hope to see her on a national ticket very soon,” Burchett, a Knoxvillian who represents the 2nd Congressional District, said at a barbeque in…

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