Governor’s race becomes costliest in TN history

Republican Randy Boyd speaks during the Gubernatorial Forum on Education at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. (Andrew Nelles/The Tennessean via AP, Pool)

Spending in this year’s governor’s race has now eclipsed expenditures in any race in state history, The Tennessean reports.

The four major Republicans and two Democrats seeking to succeed Gov. Bill Haslam have spent a combined $37 million through the first half of 2018. Meanwhile, they’ve raised more than $50 million, with large chunks of that coming in the form of contributions from the candidates themselves.

The 2006 Senate race ultimately won by former Chattanooga mayor Bob Corker was the most expensive statewide contest before this year, coming in at about $34 million.

On the Republican side, Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd raised $662,000 from donors in the second quarter, while U.S. Rep. Diane Black raised $620,000 from outside sources, Williamson County businessman Bill Lee received $438,000, and House Speaker Beth Harwell brought in $213,000.

Among the Democrats, former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean raised $813,000, while House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, brought in $75,000.

More than $34 million of the money raised for the campaigns has come in the form of donations from the candidates, loans, and transfers from other campaign accounts.

Boyd has poured more than $14 million of his own money into the race, including $8.2 million in the last quarter. Black has given more than $10 million to her bid, including $6.2 million in the most recent period. Lee has loaned $5.2 million to his campaign, but nothing in the 2nd quarter. Harwell has reported a $3.1 million loan to her bid.

Dean has given $700,000 to his campaign, including $500,000 during the latest period. Fitzhugh has loaned is campaign $766,000, including $200,000 in the last quarter.

8 Responses to Governor’s race becomes costliest in TN history

  • Tennessee Jed says:

    Good thing DC Diane got rich off the backs of tax-paying Americans before she ran. At least Boyd and Lee did it the old fashioned way of running a private business.

    • Sharon says:

      Boyd should pay his taxes like other USA Republican owned businesses instead of routing money through Dublin, Ireland and the Cayman. I think Apple and other liberal companies use this method. Seems like he has made his extra money to run by already not paying his appropriate tax amount. I think this is less than admirable behavior. Inheriting 4th and 7th generation farms also adds a bit of padding to one’s pocket and a network of money. From what I understand, both Diane and her husband were smart kids with a great work ethic and no way to pay for college. Status has its benefits but remembering where you came from and having a spirit of really helping working people is much more authentic to those of us that share her story.

      • benton temple says:

        Lol. D.C. Diane Black is the WORST. Should be illegal what she did, making herself rich with YOUR tax dollars. That’s not hard work, that’s unethical.

      • MarLE says:

        Yes indeed…..Boyd, Trump and lots and lots and lots of others who use the LEGAL dodges available through the tax code Should and WOULD pay their taxes if Congress hadn’t built these into the code/or failed to strip them out. Let’s ask Diane and Marsha and the others in DC why they are there!

  • Phil Lassiter says:

    Should be no surprise that elections have turned into auctions Rich persons game and everyone else suffers. Revolutions fought in countries with less oppression than America now has from the Uber wealthy class

  • Betty Ziesel says:

    It’s a pay to play game. That dream of becoming president that parents used to talk to their kids about no longer exists. Sad, so very sad!

  • Kay White says:

    This is true, It is “Pay to Play” time in Tennessee! I was asked to donate at least $10,000 to the Republican Party to speak at the Statesman’s Dinner! I am the only candidate who has ACTUALLY GOTTEN OUT AND WORKED for many years for our Conservatives cause. The others have “Donated” money to (some of them) both Democrats and Republicans – of course in the name of “just doing business” or in other words keeping their name in the pot for favors. HOWEVER, I worked this whole state on $28,000 of my own money for Rick Santorum in 2012, Worked for Ted Cruz on my own dime for 3 months until they started paying me to be over 50 states to recruit Grassroots chairmen for one of the PAC groups, then dropped out of that after recruiting 27 state’s grassroots chairmen, then went to work for Donald Trump as the Director for East TN without pay. I worked two counties, the only two that Ron Ramsey won when he ran for Governor. I, along with Betty Ziesel, worked all of Washington County for Micah Van Huss and Matthew Hill, working every night, made the fliers and paid for the gas to deliver to every resident the information as to why we need to keep Conservative Leadership in our State House and Senate. This was not just one election but several! I also campaigned for Sen. Rusty Crowe, Congressman Roe, Congressman Jimmy Quillen, my cousin, State Representative John Crawford in Kingsport and a few years ago, Tony Shipley who was replaced by another wonderful Conservative Bud Hulsey whom I have great admiration for. Now we have Donna Locke’s son, Hunter Locke getting into the political arena and I would do anything that I could if they needed me for him because I know that family and they are wonderful people and great Conservatives! I have worked and will continue to work but I believe in fairness! I believe that once I qualified to run last July, I should have been given the opportunity to participate in the so called debate at Lipsome University which was a farce – and turned out to be more like a forum and to be in that I would have had to show them my campaign worth of a million dollars! The “Praise Haslam” statesman’s dinner was a joke when we who call it like it is will say that other than the worse Governor who was Ray Blanton who ended up in Jail as Haslam and his brother almost did that Haslam and SunQuist run a close tie for second worst Governor. Governor Haslam created the Common Core Crisis, allowing Islam to be taught in our school along with the worst testing system ever – trying to get the national fake numbers up so he looks good – only to have our teachers disgusted and waiting to quit and students needing therapy! He wasted tax payer’s money on Bicycle lanes and then wanted more tax money for the state with his “Gas Tax” – when some legislators cried “WOLF” because the state had enough money without the tax, then he raised the BUDGET MORE TO SPEND THE SURPLUS MONEY! He is a real joke and a monster within himself who thinks too highly of himself. He is the one who has “inspired” Boyd, Lee and Harwell to run for Governor (Diane Black did not need his inspiration – she has planned to run for Governor for a long time) I decided to run after starting to help Sen. Mae Beavers who has voted always Conservative and I felt would do right by the people only to be discouraged when she broke her word to me, telling something that I told her about a person on her staff with a criminal background. This was not to ever say she did not vote right but I feel if a person does not keep their word, I do not want to spend my time working my self to death and spending my own money to help them! Enough said – I have forgiven Mae and wish her well – I hold no grudges against anyone but I will only spend my time and efforts working for those I completely trust. With that said, I have never supported people for “My Business sake” and I will never work for anyone that I know does not have the interest of the people at heart. Wish more people were like me and money did not matter – then I would be the next Governor of TN! However I have used this platform to inform the voters across the state! Make your choice – more of Haslam (who by the way spent 20 million to be elected but got that back with the float on the Gas Tax so now we have to worry with the above candidates what they will do to make back the money they will spend to be elected because on a $180,000 job per yr. – they are not making a donation to the news media – they will find a way to get it back off the taxpayer’s backs!) with the above candidates or have your own, new candidate who really cares – Kay White!

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