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Pilot gives $1m to McConnell-linked PAC aiding Blackburn

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The gas station chain founded by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s family has donated $1 million to a political committee supporting Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn’s Senate bid.

Campaign finance reports show Pilot Corporation made the Aug. 28 donation to the Senate Leadership Fund, a group linked to GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Haslam previously was Knoxville-based Pilot’s president. His father, Jim Haslam, founded the company. The governor’s brother, Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, is Pilot’s CEO. The company often gives large donations to GOP interests.

The Senate Leadership Fund has spent $10 million-plus to help Blackburn, largely through TV attack ads against her opponent, Democratic ex-Gov. Phil Bredesen.

Outside spending has topped $32 million in the race, with around $19 million helping Blackburn and $13 million boosting Bredesen.

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