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Politics

Voters head to polls for Tennessee presidential primary

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee voters are heading to the polls to make their choices in the state's Super Tuesday presidential primary.

The primary comes after several days of spirited campaigning around the state by all five candidates seeking the Republican nomination and by one of the two Democrats remaining in the race.

Sixty-seven delegates are up for grabs in the Democratic primary, while 58 Republican delegates will be split up among any candidates that reach a threshold of 20 percent of the vote.

While Tennessee Republicans have given the nod to religious conservatives in the last two presidential primaries, Donald Trump has drawn huge crowds and widespread support in this year's campaign.

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam and Sen. Lamar Alexander have endorsed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Senate OKs cap on liquor store ownership in Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The state Senate has approved a bill that would place new limits on liquor store ownership in Tennessee, shrugging off concerns raised by some Republicans about creating special protections from market forces.

The bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro is mostly aimed at allowing grocery stores to begin obtaining licenses and stocking their shelves ahead of the July 1 date that they will be able to sell wine.

But a provision to limit liquor store owners to two statewide licenses drew the ire of Republican Sen. Frank Niceley of Strawberry Plains, who called it "cold, hard protectionism" and contrary to Republican principles.

But an effort to remove the liquor store cap from the bill failed before the chamber passed the measure on a 21-6 vote Monday.