Craig Fitzhugh

TSEA endorses Harwell for GOP gubernatorial nomination, Fitzhugh for Democratic nod

Press release from Tennessee State Employees Association

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Employees Action Movement (TEAM-PAC) the official PAC of TSEA, today voted to endorse Beth Harwell in the Republican Primary and Craig Fitzhugh in the Democratic Primary in the race for Governor in Tennessee.  Continue reading

Guber forum: Harwell and Boyd clash on ECD grants; Fitzhugh criticizes Dean

In a gubernatorial candidate forum Tuesday, House Speaker Beth Harwell promised, if elected, to reject any state-funded financial incentives for businesses moving into Middle Tennessee, reports The Tennessean. Fellow Republican candidate Randy Boyd, a former ECD commissioner, rejected the idea.

On the Democratic side, House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh criticized his primary opponent, former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, on his handling of federal relief funding after a 2010 flood hit the city.

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Fitzhugh names Trace Sharp as campaign press secretary

Press release from Craig Fitzhugh campaign

Ripley, TN – The Fitzhugh for Governor campaign has named Trace Sharp as campaign press secretary. Sharp is a veteran communication specialist having worked in broadcast, print media and economic development in northwest Tennessee before relocating to Nashville several years ago. Sharp has worked on campaigns at every level from local municipal elections, gubernatorial campaigns, congressional races and presidential campaigns.

“I have known Trace for many years, dating back to her time as a local reporter covering Gov. Ned Ray McWherter and state politics. I value her understanding of the issues facing our rural communities, from economic development and infrastructure to how Medicaid expansion would help to address our record number of hospital closures. Trace has been a strong advocate for rural Tennessee much longer than most candidates in this race and we are our honored to have her on Team Fitzhugh,” Fitzhugh said.

In her role as press secretary, Sharp will oversee the 95 county press operations for the Fitzhugh campaign.

“Craig Fitzhugh is a man of his word and a true statesman in every sense. I have covered his career and truly value his commitment to serving the needs of our state’s most vulnerable. It’s an honor to serve and I look forward to sharing Craig’s vision across all 95 counties,” Sharp said.

Note: Sharp blogged on Tennessee politics prior to serving as press secretary to the Democratic campaigns of Mike McWherter for governor in 2010 and Gordon Ball for the U.S. Senate in 2014.

 

Guber campaign money: Boyd sets new record for self-financing (Lee and Black close behind)

Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd has set a new record for self-financing in a Tennessee political campaign, a review of financial disclosures filed this week shows. Williamson County businessman Bill Lee has also clearly passed U.S. Sen. Bob Corker’s old record and Diane Black has roughly matched it.

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Fitzhugh buys Titans tickets in response to Black boycott

Press release from Craig Fitzhugh campaign

House Democratic Leader and candidate for Governor, Craig Fitzhugh has bought Tennessee Titans Season Tickets after Republican candidate for Governor Diane Black returned hers because of her unwillingness to support several Titans’ players right to free speech.

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In TN governor’s race, all Republicans love Trump and Democrats aren’t bashing him

Responding to questions from WPLN’s Chas Sisk, major Republican candidates for governor all expressed support for President Donald Trump and even the two Democrats are not bashing him – a striking contrast, it’s noted, to the way things were in Tennessee politics when Barack Obama was president.

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UT diversity squabble tied to Haslam’s bill shrinking UT Board of Trustees

Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal to shrink the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees came under renewed criticism Tuesday in a legislative hearing with some lawmakers joined by  student and faculty representatives and a past chairman of the national UT Alumni Association in questioning the measure, reports the Times Free Press. The administration has offered some amendments, but the bill is still stuck in committees without a vote being taken.

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Of six gubernatorial candidates, only Harwell supports removing governor from UT board

House Speaker Beth Harwell supports Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal to reduce the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees from 26 to 11 members – including elimination of the governor as a board member, according to a Victor Ashe column. But  five other major candidates for governor want to have a seat on the board if elected.

Randy Boyd, Craig Fitzhugh, Bill Lee and Diane Black all said they thought the governor should be a board member and they would actively attend meetings as governor. Karl Dean said he would actively attend meetings but did not respond to the question of whether the law should be amended to remove the governor.

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Gubernatorial candidates talk on local control versus legislature

Excerpt from the Times-Free Press report on a gubernatorial candidate forum Thursday:

In response to a question about cities’ and towns’ complaints about the General Assembly’s propensity to wade into their operations on issues like guns in public parks, removal of Confederate statues and education, (Democrat Craig) Fitzhugh said, “I believe in local control” and put the blame on the Republican-run Legislature.

“It seemed to me that for many years, the Republican view was the best government was at the local level, but here recently at the Legislature, the majority party has taken it upon themselves to sort of get into cities’ business and counties’ business on various things. I think they had it right the first time.”

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Lee, Boyd differ on megasite development at guber forum

Two leading Republican candidates for governor in Tennessee drew a contrast over an economic development “megasite” during a forum Thursday, reports the Associated Press.

At the Tennessee Press Association forum, former state economic development chief Randy Boyd said it’s worth the time and remaining investment of $70 million-plus to the Memphis Regional Megasite because it could help create more than 30,000 jobs.

But businessman Bill Lee said there isn’t currently a workforce prepared for the jobs that the megasite might attract.

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