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.

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