Boyd campaign confession: I want to be bolder than Bill Haslam, but wouldn’t be running without him

In an appearance before the Washington County Republican Women’s Club on Monday, Randy Boyd was asked if his main goal in running for governor is to carry on Gov. Bill Haslam’s legacy, reports the Johnson City Press.

“I’ll hopefully be able to do new and bolder things, but I have to confess that I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for (Haslam), his guidance and his example,” the Knoxville native answered during a brief Q&A session.

Boyd then mentioned he was intent on fulfilling the “Drive to 55,” a state initiative that aims to put a college degree or certificate in the hands of 55 percent of Tennesseans by 2025.

“It’s something I want to see finished,” Boyd, who served as Haslam’s commissioner of economic development, said.

“I’ll say there is a difference maybe in emphasis. The focus on the technical and vocational schools will be a matter of emphasis. … The things I want to focus on is making sure we have those technical skills at our high schools and our Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology. We’re going to put a real priority on that.”

Boyd is often credited as the architect of the “Drive to 55” campaign and a fundamental element to the campaign is Tennessee Promise, a scholarship and mentoring program that covers tuition for in-state students at any of Tennessee’s 13 community colleges or 27 colleges of applied technology.

But expanding that initiative to cover tuition at all of Tennessee’s four-year colleges just doesn’t seem plausible, Boyd said.

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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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