Black raising money for reelection to Congress, not a run for governor

U.S. Rep. Diane Black, who has been mulling a run for the 2018 Republican gubernatorial nomination for months, has scheduled a Washington fundraiser this week — $2,500 admission for a “PAC host,” $1,000 for a “PAC attendee” and $500 for a non-PAC person – with proceeds earmarked for her congressional reelection campaign fund, reports Tennessee Star.

Thursday night’s fundraiser will be held at Ocean Prime, one of the premiere eating establishments on Capitol Hill.

The menu, which features a Ribeye Steak for $52 and Dutch Harbor King Crab Legs for $65, is well suited to Washington lobbyists, but a far cry from the Cracker Barrels that dot the I-40 corridor of the Sixth Congressional District Black represents in Tennessee.

The news of Black’s Congressional fundraiser has veteran political tea leaf readers across the state of Tennessee scratching their heads.

Does Black intend to run for governor, or will she drop that effort, where she will face stiff competition from three announced candidates–Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd, Williamson County businessman Bill Lee, and State Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet)–and opt for the safe route of an easy re-election in 2018 to represent Tennessee’s Sixth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives?

…“I have always believed and said that once Congressman Black was appointed as Chairman of the House Budget Committee that it was quite unlikely that she would run for governor,” former State Rep. Joe Carr, who lost to Black in the 2016 Republican primary to represent the Sixth Congressional District, tells The Star.

“In the 2018 governors sweepstakes she would be just another millionaire. Why would she take the chance? She wouldn’t if she has given the risk to reward any serious consideration. This high dollar high brow Washington D.C. fundraiser only gives evidence to what I have been saying. Congressman Diane Black is staying in D.C.,” Carr says.

Note: See also this week’s column from Frank Cagle, who has been scratching his head over Black’s prospects as a gubernatorial candidate. His bottom line:

Washington politics is what’s making Black’s road to the governor’s mansion much harder.

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Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.
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