governor’s race 2018

Boyd TV ad declares he’s tough on illegal immigration; some critics doubtful

Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd’s latest TV ad depicts the millionaire businessman as tough on illegal immigration. The Tennessean reports some critics contend he’s being hypocritical.

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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.


New Black ad stresses role in opposing abortion

Republican gubernatorial candidate Diane Black’s latest TV ad focuses on her role in promoting an amendment to the Tennessee Constitution to give lawmakers more power to restrict access to abortions. The amendment passed with 53% of the vote in 2014.

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Campaign finance panel takes ‘no action’ on Harwell

The Tennessee Registry of Campaign Finance has voted to take “no action” on complaints alleging coordination between Republican gubernatorial candidate Beth Harwell and her political action committee and questioning the veracity of a $3.1 million loan she made to her campaign.

The panel voted 3-0 to against proceeding with the complaints. Chairman Tom Lawless, who abstained on the vote, said he had a “beef” with Attorney General Herbert Slatery for refusing to provide a requested legal opinion on the matter and Gov. Bill Haslam for failing for make the appointments to two vacant positions on the six-member panel.

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Karl Dean launches statewide TV ad

Democrat Karl Dean is launching a statewide ad in support of his gubernatorial bid.

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PAC targeting Black in radio ads going on TV (Update: Not anymore)

A political action committee that has run radio ads attacking U.S. Rep Diane Black in the Republican gubernatorial race is going on TV. (UPDATE: The reserved ad time appears to have been pulled).

Tennessee Jobs Now had booked $28,000 in ad time in the Knoxville market, $20,100 in Memphis, $27,600 in Nashville. But by Monday afternoon, those reservations appeared to have been cleared from the books.

The PAC has been largely bankrolled by Joe Hollingsworth Jr. of Clinton, who has also given $8,000 to Randy Boyd’s campaign.

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Boyd lands more lawmaker endorsements

Knoxville businessman Randy Boys has announced endorsements from four state senators and six state representatives in the Republican gubernatorial race.

Here’s the press release:

Nashville, Tenn. – Randy Boyd, Republican candidate for Governor, announced today another group of top legislators endorsing his campaign for Governor.

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Gubernatorial candidates queried about soybean prices

At the gubernatorial forum at UT-Martin on Thursday, the candidates were asked by moderator Meg Kinnard, an Associated Press reporter in South Carolina and the granddaughter of the late U.S. Rep. Ed Jones (D-Yorkville), what they would consider the break-even price to be for a bushel of soybeans in light of potential retaliation from abroad to the Trump administration’s trade policies.

Even though the candidates were  interviewend separately and kept out of the room when they weren’t on stage, it didn’t escape notice that the answers seemed to get more specific as it became clear it would be a recurring question. Not that we’d suggest some of the candidates might have been fed the questions or anything!

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GOP gubernatorial candidates fret about trade war, but declare trust in Trump

President Donald Trump’s plan to raise tariffs on foreign aluminum and steel drew concerns from most Republican candidates for governor at a forum on Thursday at Martin, according to the Associated Press. They generally indicated worry about a trade war could harming Tennessee’s farm exports, particularly soybeans.

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