governor’s race 2018

GOP gubernatorial candidates differ — or dodge — on Trump’s gun law proposals

Excerpt from a story by the AP’s Jonathan Mattise:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In gun-friendly Tennessee, President Donald Trump’s ideas to ban bump stocks and bar people under 21 from buying semi-automatic guns have put the leading GOP candidates for governor in a tough spot. In response, they have mostly avoided taking firm stances.

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Third complaint filed over TV ad financed by Harwell’s PAC

Nashville conservative activist Sharon Ford has filed a third complaint against Beth Harwell’s gubernatorial campaign involving the House Speaker’s political action committee running a TV ad that praises Harwell’s leadership in the legislature, reports Nashville Post.

As with the two earlier complaints filed with the Registry of Election Finance, she contends that Tennesseans for Good Government, formerly known as Harwell PAC, clearly made the ad, entitled “The Signs Are Everywhere,” “with direction cooperation, consultation and in concert with” Harwell.

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Lee gets celebrity help in seeking evangelical vote (‘God can work through him’)

Williamson County businessman Bill Lee has five celebrities serving as “honorary co-chairs” in a listing of his gubernatorial campaign supporters called  “Community and Faith-Based Advisory Council.”  Celebrities are country music star Ricky Skaggs, former Nashville Predators captain Mike Fisher, former NASCAR driver Darrell Waltrip along with gospel singers Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith.

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Harwell cites PAC ad in campaign email

Republican gubernatorial candidate Beth Harwell’s campaign has sent out a campaign update that trumpets a TV ad paid for by her political action committee. The email blast is bound to keep questions about coordination between the campaign and the PAC on the front burner.

“Check out this new video highlighting Tennessee’s legislative successes from Tennesseans for Good State Government,” says the email, which includes a link to the YouTube version and several screen grabs. The Tennesseans for Good State Government was previously called the Harwell PAC.

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Harwell breaks tie, advances medical marijuana bill

House Speaker Beth Harwell speaks at a gubernatorial forum in Nashville on Feb. 27, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Gubernatorial candidate Beth Harwell has stepped in to advance medical marijuana legislation in legislature. As House speaker the Nashville Republican has the power to vote in any of the chamber’s committees, and when the Civil Criminal Justice Subcommittee was deadlocked 3-3 on the bill, she cast the deciding vote keep the bill moving.

Harwell had earlier signed on as a co-sponsor of the measure dubbed the Medical Cannabis Only Act. The main sponsors are Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby) and Sen. Steve Dickerson (R-Nashville).

“I am in favor of this legislation, which does not allow for the smoking of medical marijuana — I am not in favor of that approach,” Harwell said in a release announcing her co-sponsorship of the bill. “However, the federal government continues to be a roadblock for legitimate research or medical uses of medical cannabis, but other states have enacted laws to help patients, and Tennessee should do the same.”

Another co-sponsor is Rep. Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro), the chairman of the House Health Subcommittee.

“The inaction and hypocritical stance at the federal level puts many patients in a bind and hinders medical research and treatment. States need to stand up for patients,” said Terry, a physician.

Note: Voting with Harwell for the bill were  Reps. Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis), Tilman Goins (R-Morristown) and Sherry Jones (D-Nashville). Voting no were Reps. Michael Curcio (R-Dickson), William Lamberth (R-Cottontown) and Micah Van Huss (R-Jonesborough).


The candidates on the (food) issues

Here’s a quick look on one of the more illuminating questions for the gubernatorial candidates at today’s health care forum.

Boyd company gets third TN base in minor league baseball management

Boyd Sports, owned by Tennessee gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd, is taking over management of the Greeneville Reds. It will be the third minor league baseball team in Tennessee to have an agreement with the Knoxville company, reports the Greeneville Sun.

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Corker remains coy about Senate plans in Memphis

What have we learned about Sen. Bob Corker’s potential un-retirement plans this weekend? Not much.

As expected, Corker did not attend a Friday evening GOP event in Williamson County (significant because it was the state’s only county not to vote for Trump in the 2016 presidential primary). But he did go to the Lincoln Day dinner in Memphis, where he shared some awkward moments with U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn beforehand but didn’t say anything in the way of revealing his plans.

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New Diane Black TV ad features Trump, nameless nurse

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Complaint accuses Harwell of violating campaign finance laws with TV ad and loan

On the heels of a new television advertisement sponsored by her PAC, House Speaker Beth Harwell has been hit with two ethics complaints filed with the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance regarding her campaign for governor, reports Cari Wade Gervin. One alleges illegal coordination with the PAC in violation of state campaign finance law.

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