governor’s race

Republican, Democratic guber candidates differ on moving N.B. Forrest bust from TN capitol

None of the five Republican candidates for governor declares support for removing Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s bust from the Tennessee state capitol building, reports The Tennessean after posing the question to all of them. Two Democrats running for governor both say the bust should be moved to a museum.

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Boyd gets seven more mayor endorsements

News release from Randy Boyd campaign

Greeneville, Tenn. – Fresh from his historic run and series of listening and learning stops all across Northeast Tennessee, Republican candidate Randy Boyd today announced the endorsement of an impressive group of city mayors in the region who are already actively working in support of his growing grassroots campaign for Governor.  Those endorsing Boyd today include:

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Ron Ramsey, Stephen Fincher join Diane Black’s campaign for governor

Former Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and former U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher have been named co-chairs of Diane Black’s campaign for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

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Lee calls for more school choice, says ‘receptions that entertain legislators’ should be stopped

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee is calling for more school choice in Tennessee and an end to lobbyist-sponsored receptions for state legislators, reports the Associated Press.

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After sister’s Colorado experience, Harwell ‘open’ to medical marijuana in TN

House Speaker Beth Harwell, campaigning for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, says treatment of her sister’s back injury has caused her to reevaluate Tennessee’s ban on medical marijuana, reports the Associated Press.

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Black bashes ‘meek’ Nashville Republicans; Harwell bashes Washington Republicans

Excerpts from a Times Free Press report on a Sunday forum for Republican gubernatorial candidates in Williamson County, hosted by state Sen. Jack Johnson.

We can find Republicans who are too weak or too meek right here in Nashville as well,” (said U.S. Rep. Diane Black)… “The people of Tennessee did not give us a majority to be meek. They made us the majority so we could do what we say we can do. And that’s the job of our next governor. To lead this state in a way with a firm hand and a strong spine. And that’s what the state of Tennessee needs is a strong leader.”

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Some TN political junkie reading suggestions, 8/7/2017

On members of Congress running for governor

Diane Black is one of nine current members of the U.S. House who have announced as candidates for governor in their home state and a “handful of others” are mulling the possibility, reports Politico.

But most of the aspiring governors are vacating the comfy confines of safe congressional districts for what, historically, has been a bad bet. The last time this many sitting representatives ran for governor, in 2006, twice as many lost as won.

… The aspiring governors in Ohio and Tennessee have slightly better historical records to fall back on. Both states have seen three sitting lawmakers elected governor since the turn of the 20th century. But the most recent in Ohio is Democrat Ted Strickland in 2006 and in Tennessee, and it’s been nearly a quarter-century since Republican Don Sundquist won in Tennessee, Ostermeier said

TN history note: Before Sundquist, the last member of Congress elected as Tennessee governor was Democrat Ray Blanton in 1974. And before that, it was Democrat Gordon Browning in 1936 (after trying an unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate in 1934).  Browning then lost a bid for reelection, but returned to win the governor’s office again in 1948.

Just a guess, but Black probably will not be emphasizing her historical predecessors in the coming campaign.

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Beavers, Black and Harwell on hopes of becoming first woman TN governor

Comments collected by The Tennessean from three women running for the Republican gubernatorial nomination on the prospect of becoming the first female to hold office as Tennessee governor:

Diane Black: “It would be truly historic but I will tell you even more historic to me is to know that I would be the 50th governor of the state of Tennessee. That is the history that we would make.”

Beth Harwell: “I don’t think anyone should vote for me because I am a woman but I would tell you the historical significance is great. And it’s especially so because in the year 2020 this state will celebrate a hundred years of being the state that made it possible for women to earn the right to vote. I think it’d be nice to have a female governor at that point.”

Mae Beavers: “Of course it would have significance. It would kind of be overwhelming I would think. But it’s all about doing what’s right for the state of Tennessee.”

Fitzhugh launches run for Democratic gubernatorial nomination

State House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh announced his candidacy for governor Sunday, setting up a contested primary with fellow Democrat Karl Dean, the former mayor of Nashville, for the party nomination. Five Republicans are seeking the GOP nomination.

Dean announced his candidacy in February and reported raising $1.2 million in July. Before his announcement – in an interview with The Tennessean — Fitzhugh said he’s not intimidated by the late start and fundraising gap.

“Not at all… It really fires you up when you start $1.2 million behind.”

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Devaney named Lee’s campaign manager

News release from Bill Lee campaign

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – Bill Lee, a Republican gubernatorial candidate and conservative Williamson County business owner, announced several key staff additions to his growing campaign team.

Former Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney has joined the campaign as Campaign Manager and Senior Advisor andTony Niknejad will serve as Policy Director. Other additions include Caroline Davidson joining the finance team and Majority Strategies will lead the campaign’s direct mail efforts.

 “It’s humbling to have so many talented people join our efforts to help share my vision for Tennessee,” said Lee. “I’m grateful for the team we’re assembling. This is one more indicator of the excitement and enthusiasm we are seeing all across this state for our campaign.”   Continue reading