governor’s race 2018

GOP guber poll: Undecided 54.7%; Black 13.9%

A poll commissioned by Tennesseans for Conservative Action, which bills itself as a “voter education” group that “stands for constitutionally conservative principles,” found that about 55 percent of likely Republican voters are undecided about who to support in the 2018 gubernatorial primary.

But 82 percent view President Donald Trump favorably and 54 percent think Butch Jones is doing a good job as University of Tennessee football coach.

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Democratic guber candidates favor medical marijuana, Republicans split

Two Democrats running for governor support legalizing medical marijuana in Tennessee while the five most active Republican candidates are split on the issue, reports The Tennessean.

Earlier, state Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, who co-chairs a legislative committee charged with studying legalization of cannabis-based drugs for medical purposes, told WBIR TV that the idea will be one of the top five issues in the 2018 gubernatorial campaign – along with jobs, infrastructure, abortion and gun rights.

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Fitzhugh floats Lady Vols as issue for legislature, guber campaign

State House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh will bring his campaign for governor to the University of Tennessee Knoxville campus Friday and announce that he’s filing a legislative resolution urging the school to reinstate the Lady Vols name, reports the News Sentinel.

Fitzhugh.. said he plans to introduce the nonbinding resolution during the 2018 session and, if elected governor and de facto chair of the UT Board of Trustees, he will put the resolution before the university’s governing board.

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Beavers resigning state Senate seat; expanding gubernatorial campaign team

News release from Sen. Mae Beavers

MT. JULIET, TN – Tennessee State Senator and conservative Republican candidate for Governor Mae Beavers has announced that she will resign her seat in the legislature effective Friday, September 1st at noon. Beavers also disclosed key additions to her gubernatorial campaign team.

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A couple of columns on the governor’s race: Black bashed, gimmickry noted

U.S. Rep. Diane Black’s recent criticism of weak kneed Republicans in Nashville, delivered at a gubernatorial campaign forum, didn’t resonate with Frank Cagle. Here are the first and last paragraphs of his column on the subject:

Congresswoman Diane Black has a lot of gall, I’ll give her that. She has come down from her leadership position in the dysfunctional U.S. House and criticized the “meek Republicans” in Nashville that run state government.

…Instead of praising the progress that has been made by her Republican colleagues and offering to build on it, Black has decided to appeal to the radical fringe around Nashville. If she can’t distinguish the difference in our state’s progress, as opposed to what she has been doing, she is too clueless to be governor.

On guber candidate theatrics

Robert Houk observes that candidate “gimmickry” of the past – Lamar Alexander walking across the state in 1978, Fred Thompson’s 1994 tour of Tennessee in a red pickup truck – is being echoed this year in “similar stunts” by Republican gubernatorial candidates Randy Boyd and Bill Lee, HERE. (Boyd is running across the state; Lee is touring Tennessee in a tractor.)

Note: It’s not a column, but The Tennessean has a report on Democrat Craig Fitzhugh venturing into solidly-Republican Williamson County that begins with a depiction of the House minority leader having “a Southern drawl and plucky spirit,” HERE. (Southern drawl?? Well, maybe compared to Karl Dean… but certainly not compared to the late Sen. Douglas Henry, D-Nashville.)

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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ABOUT THIS BLOG

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

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