Beth Harwell

Campaign finance registry dismisses complaints against Harwell, Lee

House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) awaits Gov. Bill Haslam’s final State of the State address in Nashville on Jan. 29, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Associated Press)

The Tennessee Registry of Election Finance has dismissed complaints filed against House Speaker Beth Harwell’s gubernatorial bid. The complaints alleged illegal coordination between Harwell and her political action committee, and questioned whether she actually had the $3.1 million she reported loaning her campaign earlier this year.

UPDATE: The Registry also dismissed coordination complaints against Bill Lee, the Republican gubernatorial nominee.

Hank Fincher, a Democratic appointee to the panel, called the complaints against Harwell “garbage” and made the motion to dismiss them. The motion received a 4-0 vote.

Harwell came in fourth in the Republican gubernatorial primary this month.

Harwell’s latest ad touts support for medical marijuana

Republican gubernatorial candidate Beth Harwell has a launched a new TV ad touting herself as the only Republican gubernatorial candidate who supports legalizing medical marijuana in Tennessee.

“I am the only Republican candidate for governor who supports legalizing doctor-prescribed medical cannabis,” she said. “Many suffer: veterans, children with seizures, cancer patients, our elderly. I just know if were my loved one, I would want this option.”

Harwell notes in the ad that President Donald Trump agrees, showing footage of the president saying “I think medical should happen, right? Don’t we agree?”

Harwell concludes the ad by saying: “Opioids must not be our only option for those in pain.”

Here’s the full ad:

 

Harwell to make ‘major’ announcement Friday

Republican gubernatorial candidate Beth Harwell’s campaign has sent out an advisory to political reporters to alert them to a “major announcement” at a news conference at the state Capitol on Friday.

Of course the last time Harwell’s camp signaled a “major announcement” in June, it ended up being an endorsement from state House Speaker Pro Tem Curtis Johnson (R-Clarksville). Interesting, but not exactly earth-shattering.

So what should we expect from Friday’s big presser?

 

Harwell’s new TV ad mocks GOP rivals

State House Speaker Beth Harwell’s new ad takes aim at squabbling among her Republican gubernatorial rivals Randy Boyd, Diane Black, and Bill Lee, while calling her “the adult in the room.”

“My opponents are spending a great deal of time arguing over things we’ve already done in Tennessee. We outlawed sanctuary cities in Tennessee even before President Trump’s election,” Harwell said in a release. “We strengthened the law just last legislative session by adding monetary penalties to any local municipality that chooses to defy the law.”

 

Poll says Boyd has pulled ahead of Black in GOP gubernatorial primary

While Diane Black led other Republican candidates in a Tennessee Star poll some months ago, the arch-conservative online website reports a new survey this week shows Randy Boyd is now the frontrunner.

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Five guber candidates support collecting sales tax from out-of-state retailer sales to TN customers; differ on how to use resulting revenue

Five candidates for governor – Republicans Randy Boyd, Beth Harwell and Bill Lee along with Democrats Karl Dean and Craig Fitzhugh – praised a U.S. Supreme Court decision last week that means Tennessee can now require out-of-state online retailers to collect sales taxes on purchases made by their Tennessee, reports the Times Free Press.

Their comments came at a gubernatorial candidate forum hosted by the newspaper Monday in Chattanooga. One major GOP candidate, Diane Black, was campaigning in Carter County Monday and did not participate.

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In GOP debate, candidates for governor back Trump immigration policy, dispute Lee’s claim to be the ‘only outsider’

The leading Republican candidates for Tennessee governor tried not to second-guess President Donald Trump during a debate Wednesday night, including pledging support for his administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, according to the Associated Press report.

At the debate, House Speaker Beth Harwell, ex-state economic development commissioner Randy Boyd and businessman Bill Lee blamed congressional inaction for the migrant family separations that have sparked recent public outrage. The statements likely took aim at U.S. Rep. Diane Black, who instead took a stance similar to Trump by blaming Democrats. She said Democrats are not supporting construction of a border wall.

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Guber candidates talk on electing AG, marijuana, Confederate statutes at TN Bar Association forum

Four gubernatorial candidates – Republicans Randy Boyd and Beth Harwell; Democrats Karl Dean and Craig Fitzhugh —  told the annual convention of the Tennessee Bar Association Thursday that they favor keeping the Tennessee Attorney General a position appointed by the Tennessee Supreme Court, reports the Memphis Daily News.

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New Lee and Harwell ads hit the airwaves

Republican gubernatorial candidates Bill Lee and Beth Harwell are on the air with new ads:

Black wants Memphis Megasite redo; other guber candidates would stay the project’s course

Diane Black has taken a strikingly different stance on developing the Memphis Regional Megasite in Haywood County notes the Jackson Sun in a Thursday article rounding up comments from other gubernatorial candidates on the subject. Black proposes to turn the megasite into an “agricultural hub” instead of continuing the so-far-unsuccessful effort to get a big new business located there.

Black outlined her proposal in an Commercial Appeal op-ed piece back in late April, declaring the project has been “a boondoggle from the beginning” and “thoroughly mismanaged by the bureaucrats in Nashville” – including, presumably, fellow GOP gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd, who headed the Department of Economic and Community Development for a period of the megasite’s development.

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