governor’s race 2018

Black lands endorsement from candidate who ‘won by losing’

Republican gubernatorial candidate Diane Black is touting the endorsement of former Vanderbilt professor Carol Swain, who famously declared she “won by losing” her bid for Nashville mayor this year after she won 23% of the vote.

“I will be voting for Representative Diane Black for the GOP gubernatorial nomination,” Swain writes in her endorsement. “I believe Diane can defeat Karl Dean and become the next governor of Tennessee.”

After her loss to David Briley in the Nashville mayor’s race in May, Swain said: “We won by losing. Our short campaign ignited a conversation about the real challenges facing Nashville.”

 

Bill Lee on Black attack ads: ‘It’s not what leaders do’

Businessman Bill Lee speaks at his campaign headquarters opening in Franklin on Feb. 12, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Franklin businessman Bill Lee says he will take the high road in response to rival Republican gubernatorial candidate Diane Black’s attack ads.

“I think negative, deceitful attack ads, it’s everything wrong with politics,” Lee told WKRN-TV’s Chris Bundgaard. “I’m not going down that road because it’s not what leaders do.”

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Haslam to successor: ‘Everything changes now’

Gov. Bill Haslam gives a preview of his State of the State address in Nashville on Jan. 29, 2018. (Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Term-limited Gov. Bill Haslam has written an op-ed for the Tennessee Gannett newspapers in the form of a letter to his successor. In it, he warns that  “a lot of what was talked about during the campaign will not be the issues that end up on your desk as governor.”

“You have spent these last months trying to get in front of as many of Tennessee’s 6.6 million citizens as you could to tell them your story. Everything changes now,” he wrote.

“The most important thing you can do right now is start to hire your team. You have 23 commissioners who will lead the agencies and several key positions in the governor’s office,” Haslam said. “Nothing is more important than hiring the right people for those roles…. Hire great people!”

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O’Hara: GOP takes hard right turn in Tennessee

A guest column from former Tennessean reporter Jim O’Hara:

In calling the misguided immigration bill “a solution looking for a problem” while letting it become law without signing, Gov. Bill Haslam could well have been describing the Tennessee Republican gubernatorial primary.

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

The frontrunners – Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd and U.S. Rep. Diane Black – have blanketed the television airwaves with commercials trying to out-Trump each other in anti-illegal immigration rhetoric.  Maybe the next round of commercials will have each of them on the Texas-Mexico border with shovels and bricks in hand building THE WALL!

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Website questions Tennessean story on Boyd

The conservative website Tennessee Star appears torn between its opposition to Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd and its hostility toward The Tennessean newspaper.

The newspaper has broken several important stories recently in the governor’s race, including that Bill Lee’s company has received at least $13.8 million in government contracts since 2012; that Diane Black voted in the Democratic primary in 1996 (when the Clinton-Gore ticket was on the ballot, though her campaign denies she voted for the incumbents); and that Boyd’s company opened offices in Ireland that allowed the business to avoid U.S. taxes.

While the Star has been happy to label Boyd as “La Raza Randy” and claim that the Gov. Bill Haslam is somehow rigging the primary in Boyd’s favor, the report about the “Double Irish” tax arrangement seems to have gotten stuck in the website’s craw.

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Fitzhugh suggests GOP would ‘roll right over’ Dean

State House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh says Democratic gubernatorial primary rival Karl Dean won’t get very far on self-professed “pragmatism.”

The Memphis Daily News reports that Fitzhugh took aim at the former Nashville mayor’s plans to coexist with GOP supermajorities in the House and Senate during a meeting with the Shelby County Democratic Women in Memphis last week.

“If you get up there in that Republican-led legislature and you’re pragmatic, they are going to roll right over you,” Fitzhugh said.

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EPA loophole for ‘glider’ trucks OK’d on Pruitt’s last day

On his last day before resigning amid ethics scandals U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt granted a loophole to allow dealers to sell new trucks with old engines built into them that can pollute at as much as 55 times the levels those covered by modern emission controls, the New York Times reports .

The loophole has been promoted by Fitzgerald Glider Kits, a Crossville company that has given heavily to Republican U.S. Rep. Diane Black’s gubernatorial campaign. Black has traveled on the company’s private plane to attend campaign events.

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Diane Black goes ‘Double Irish’ on Randy Boyd

As some of our commenters have alluded to, U.S. Rep. Diane Black has a new ad out hitting fellow Republican gubernatorial hopeful Randy Boyd for his company’s decision to open offices in Ireland and the Cayman Islands, a scheme known as “Double Irish” that allows U.S. companies to avoid taxes domestically.

The story was first reported by The Tennessean. The conservative website Tennessee Star has video of the ad. 

 

Lee unveils 10-point ‘contract with Tennesseans’

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

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee is touting a “Ten for Tenn” plan that he calls his “contract with Tennesseans.” The plan includes reducing the number of agencies in state government, term limits for state lawmakers, and creating an Office of Faith Based Initiatives in the governor’s office.

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Black touts nearly 3,000 in leadership teams (actually 2,738)

U.S. Rep. Diane Black (R-Gallatin) speaks at a Republican event in Nashville on May 7, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican gubernatorial candidate Diane Black’s campaign is touting that its county leadership teams have swelled to “nearly 3,000 activists, elected officials, and community leaders.” (The actual count of the names provided in a press release is 2,738.)

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