Republicans

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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Nashville crowd of 2,000 hears Pence praise Trump & TN Republicans, voice sympathy for Nashville mayor

A crowd estimated at 2,000 at the Tennessee Republican Party’s annual fundraising dinner Thursday evening heard Vice President Mike Pence hail the Trump administration’s accomplishments, praise the field of GOP gubernatorial candidates, declare U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker “extraordinary” and express sympathy with Nashville’s mayor over the death of her son.

State Republican Chairman Scott Golden says both the crowd and the money collected — about $850,000 — were records for TNGOP.

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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

Shelby County Mayor Luttrell backs Boyd for governor

From the Commercial Appeal:

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell on Wednesday endorsed Randy Boyd in the Tennessee gubernatorial Republican primary election.

Standing next to Boyd at Evolve Bank & Trust on Poplar in East Memphis, Luttrell emphasized Boyd’s business background, emphasis on education and heritage in West Tennessee. Boyd, who formerly headed up state economic development efforts under Gov. Bill Haslam, was born in Knoxville but has family on this side of the state.

Luttrell said he and Boyd became friends as they worked together on development and education initiatives for Shelby County. Boyd, who resigned as commissioner of Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to run for governor earlier this year, managed Haslam’s “Drive to 55” and Tennessee Promise education initiatives as an un-paid adviser.

“Randy Boyd is an entrepreneur who has a passion for education,” Luttrell said before quipping that they were probably the only two people in the room who knew the location of Fruitvale, a small town northwest of Jackson.

From the Boyd campaign

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Tea party activist announces run for governor, vows to ‘drain our own swamp in TN’

Johnson City realtor and tea party activist Kay White officially her campaign for the Republican gubernatorial nomination Saturday at Jonesborough before a crowd of about 100 people, reports WJHL TV.

“I think we need to go back to some of the old values, of God, and country, and family, and good work ethics, that is what I believe in,” White said.

A check of the Registry of Election Finance website shows White has already filed the paperwork to raise money for her campaign. And there’s a campaign website, HERE, wherein White has a ‘drain the swamp’ comment echoing President Trump that’s somewhat similar to one by state Sen. Mae Beavers in announcing her candidacy for the GOP nomination. White had initially backed Beavers for governor, but the two had a subsequent parting of the ways (previous post HERE).

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House Speaker Gerald McCormick?

With Beth Harwell announcing her run for governor in 2018,  which means she can’t seek reelection to the House, state Rep. Gerald McCormick says he’s looking to succeed her as Speaker of the House in January, 2019, reports the Times-Free Press.

McCormick said with three two-year terms as majority leader under his belt — he chose not to seek the post last session and was named by Harwell in January as Finance subcommittee chairman — he believes he has “more experience probably than anybody else in the House dealing with governors and senators.”

“And that’s a lot of what the job entails, I think,” McCormick said. “I think I can step in on the first day and know what I was doing and try to get things moving in the right direction so far as our relationships with those folks go and understanding how the body works and how committees work.”

… McCormick’s successor as majority leader, former House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada of Franklin, is seen as another possible candidate to replace Harwell.

“I’ll look at it this time next year,” Casada said of a possible bid for speaker. “I’ve got a year of a lot of members leaving — it’s the governor’s last term. So we’ve got a lot of work to go and as majority leader I’ve got to focus on that.

“I can’t take my eye off the ball of being majority leader for the next 12 months,” said Casada, who expects 10 to 12 of the 73 Republican incumbents, including Harwell, not to seek re-election to the House.

Asked earlier about the possibility of Casada running, McCormick noted the Franklin Republican hasn’t been involved in the Finance Committee, which participates in negotiations with senators over the state’s annual spending plan.

Moreover, McCormick noted that in six years, he carried any number of bills for the governor.

“So I’ve got more experience from that standpoint,” McCormick said.

Williamson County businessman Bill Lee wins Williamson County GOP gubernatorial straw poll

News release from Williamson County Republican Party

THOMPSON’S STATION, Tenn. — The Williamson County Republican Party held its annual summer BBQ  (Saturday night) tonight at Little Creek Farms in Thompson’s Station. A record sold-out crowd of 400+ guests attended, and 243 voted in the straw poll, making this the largest gubernatorial straw poll in recent Tennessee political history.

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Pence set as keynote speaker for TNGOP Statesmen’s Dinner Aug. 3

News release from Tennessee Republican Party

Nashville, Tenn. – July 15, 2017 – Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Scott Golden released the following statement on the 2017 Statesmen’s Dinner:

I am very excited to announce that the Tennessee Republican Party’s Keynote Speaker for the 2017 Statesmen’s Dinner will be Vice President Mike Pence. This is an exciting time for the Tennessee Republican Party as we continue to grow and gear up for 2018’s critical elections. With Vice President Mike Pence as our Keynote Speaker and Governor Bill Haslam as our Dinner Chair, we expect this will be one of the largest and most successful Statesmen’s Dinners to date. It will certainly be an event no Republican in Tennessee will want to miss.”

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GOP senators eye run to replace Norris as majority leader; Shelby Republicans eye his Senate seat

If Sen. Mark Norris is confirmed as a U.S. District Judge, state Sen. Jack Johnson says he ill “seriously consider” seeking election by Republican colleagues as Senate Majority Leader. Sens. Jim Tracy and Bo Watson also left the door open to a run for Senate majority leader in interviews reported in a Tennessean/Commercial Appeal story.

Among the first lawmakers to express interest in the majority leader position is Sen. Jack Johnson, R-Franklin, who said Friday, “It’s something I will seriously consider.”

While noting that talk of Norris’ potential replacement could be premature, given that the West Tennessee Republican must still be approved by the U.S. Senate, Johnson said he will be discussing the leadership spot with Republican caucus colleagues.

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Republicans bash Nashville immigration ordinance (including pledge to invalidate it, if passed)

Nashville’s Democrat-dominated Metro Council approved Tuesday on second reading – with a third approval required next month – a “Nashville together” ordinance that would prohibit using any city funds, resources or facilities to assist enforcement of federal immigration laws.

The state’s Republican officeholders have been bashing the move since then. Here’s a sampler with one pro-ordinance press release thrown in.

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ABOUT THIS BLOG

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

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