Candidate profile season is upon us

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Karl Dean speaks to a business group in Nashville on March 20, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

With early voting getting underway on July 13, state newspapers are in full candidate profile mode. Today, the Gannett papers look into the background of former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, while the Chattanooga Times Free Press examines House Speaker Beth Harwell’s record.

Dean is “pitching pragmatism, not partisanship,” in the governor’s race, according to the profile in Thursday’s Tennessean. Dean faces House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh in the Democratic primary.

“I do not think the people of Tennessee want a governor who is going to be hyperpartisan, extremist, or only looking at things through partisan lenses,” Dean said. “People want to see the issues that the people in the state care about — health care, education, jobs — addressed.

 “It’s a moderate message,” he said. “But at the same time, I think that’s where the voters are.”

It is the first of six gubernatorial profiles for the network. Here’s the remaining schedule: Friday: Fitzhugh, Monday: Diane Black, Tuesday: Randy Boyd, Wednesday: Harwell, Thursday: Bill Lee.

The Harwell profile is the Times Free Press seventh so far (including Senate candidates Phil Bredesen and Marsha Blackburn.) Harwell faces Boyd, Black, and Lee in the Republican gubernatorial primary.

“Since the seven years I’ve been in the leadership role as speaker, we’ve eliminated two taxes and we’ve phased out a third tax, making us the third lowest-tax state in the nation,” Harwell said in an interview. “My No. 1 priority as governor is to make sure our financial health stays in order.” 

Harwell also discusses her support for legalizing medical marijuana and for increasing school security following fatal shootings around the country.

“I do think it’s important that we have armed people in our schools now, unfortunately,” Harwell said. “But I think it was wise on the part of the legislature not to arm teachers. There’s just two different roles there.”

One Response to Candidate profile season is upon us

  • Phil Lassiter says:

    Beth fought every gun bill and tax drecrease on behalf of Haslam. Thank Billy Spivey and the like for the tough work on tax decreases. Just check the actual record.

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