Randy Boyd

GOP gov’s poll shows tight race among top 3

Bill Lee speaks to supporters at his headquarters launch in Franklin on Feb. 12, 2018. (Erik Schelzig/Tennessee Journal)

Bill Lee speaks to supporters at his headquarters launch in Franklin on Feb. 12, 2018. (Erik Schelzig/Tennessee Journal)

Rival gubernatorial campaigns scoffed this week when Republican Bill Lee declared “we can win” in a speech to supporters at his headquarters launch. A new Lee poll obtained by The Tennessee Journal appears to lend that statement at least some credence.

The poll shows the Franklin businessman in a “strong third place” behind Randy Boyd and Diane Black, with Beth Harwell lagging far behind.

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Boyd supporter behind group running toilet flushing ads against Black

Republican U.S. Rep. Diane Black prepares to pick up her petition to file as a candidate for Tennessee governor in Gallatin on Feb. 5, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican U.S. Rep. Diane Black prepares to pick up her petition to file as a candidate for Tennessee governor in Gallatin on Feb. 5, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

The AP’s Jonathan Mattise has confirmed that the group running those toilet flushing radio ads attacking U.S. Rep. Diane Black’s gubernatorial aspirations is funded by a supporter of fellow GOP candidate Randy Boyd.

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Boyd spends $500K on TV ad running during Olympics

Press release from Randy Boyd campaign

Nashville, Tenn. — Just in time for the Olympics, Randy Boyd, Republican candidate for Governor, released a new ad entitled “Grit” highlighting the American Dream and his rise from factory worker and first-generation college student to successful entrepreneur and founder of Radio Systems Corporation.

The $500,000 statewide broadcast and cable TV buy will air on Friday, Feb. 9 during the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics and will continue through the Closing Ceremonies on Sunday, Feb. 25….

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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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Boyd claims lead in gubernatorial campaign fundraising

Press release from Randy Boyd campaign

Nashville, Tenn. — Randy Boyd, Republican candidate for Governor, announced that his year-end financial report totals more than $7.5 million in contributions through the second reporting period, with more than 3,000 campaign donations to the campaign to date from all 95 counties in Tennessee.   Continue reading

Gubernatorial contributions in one handy chart

Here is a look at the gubernatorial campaign finance reports for the second half of 2017, free of the candidates’ press release spin:

Party Candidate From outside sources From self / transfer Spent On hand
R* Beavers $163,947 $0 $51,931 $167,410
R Black $1,739,523 $1,000,000 $987,761 $1,735,523
R Boyd $1,250,326 $2,000,000 $2,663,897 $4,095,658
D Dean $1,245,245 $200,000 $630,933 $1,807,204
D Fitzhugh $304,513 $500,000 $134,733 $681,856
R Harwell $1,186,398 $4,026,204 $160,898 $5,055,115
R Lee $904,743 $908,000 $595,987 $3,744,430

Beavers suspended her campaign this week. Harwell’s total in the “from self” column includes a $3.1 million loan, plus $918,204 in the form of a transfer from her legislative account and a contribution from her PAC.

This post has been updated to reflect $7,850 in returned contributions from the Dean campaign and $9,500 from the Boyd campaign.

Poll finds Black leads Dean by 11 points hypothetical governor match; Beavers tied

Former state Sen. Mae Beavers and Williamson County businessman Bill Lee would face closer general election races as the Republican nominee for governor against  Democrat Karl Dean, a former Nashville mayor, than three other contenders for the GOP nomination, according to a poll commissioned by Tennessee Star.

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Five gubernatorial candidates agree on most education issues

Five Tennessee gubernatorial candidates had a “cordial hourlong forum” on education Tuesday evening at Belmont University in Nashville, displaying few disagreements and making plenty of promises, reports The Tennessean.

Tennessee gubernatorial candidates talk education during SCORE event at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, January 23, 2018. (Photo credit: Belmont University)

Tennessee gubernatorial candidates talk education during SCORE event at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, January 23, 2018. (Photo credit: Belmont University)

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