Guber campaign money: Boyd sets new record for self-financing (Lee and Black close behind)

Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd has set a new record for self-financing in a Tennessee political campaign, a review of financial disclosures filed this week shows. Williamson County businessman Bill Lee has also clearly passed U.S. Sen. Bob Corker’s old record and Diane Black has roughly matched it.

Corker loaned his campaign $4.1 million in 2006 (not repaid, so far) while defeating two candidates in the GOP primary and Democrat Harold Ford Jr. in the general election. Boyd – with direct contributions to his campaign, not loans – now has a self-financing total of more than $6.1 million including $2 million reported in his first-quarter filing.

Lee has now loaned his campaign about $5.3 million, including $2 million newly reported. Black, who launched her campaign months behind Boyd and Lee, has now matched Corker’s $4.1 million – all in direct contributions to her campaign, not loans. Black gave her campaign $3 million in the past quarter.

For all top-spending candidates combined, the total spent in the governor’s race as of April 1 is about $11.7 million. The record for total spending in a Tennessee political campaign is also Corker’s 2006 contest, $34 million – and that was through November. (Previous post HERE.)

Here is a rundown of basic figures from the first quarter reports (Jan. 15 through March 31, a period when House Speaker Beth Harwell and House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh were prohibited from fundraising under state law because the legislative session was underway):

Diane Black, Republican

Starting balance: $1,747,762

Contributions from individuals and PACs: $300,386

Self-funding: $3 million

Spending: $2,958,619

Closing balance: $2,083,431

Randy Boyd, Republican

Starting balance: $4,096,268

Contributions from individuals/PACs: $606,333

Self-funding: $2 million

Spending: $3,710,594

Closing balance: $2,992,007

Beth Harwell, Republican

Starting balance: $5,055,614

Contributions: $0 ($3,751 in interest collected)

Self-financing: $0

Spending: $117,028

Closing balance: $4,942,338

Bill Lee, Republican

Starting balance: $3,744,429

Contributions from individuals/PACs: $317,156

Self-funding: $3 million

Spending: $736,844

Closing balance: $6,324,829

Karl Dean, Democrat

Starting balance: $1,807,204

Contributions from individuals/PACs: $549,168

Spending: $330,161

Self-funding: $0

Closing balance: $2,025,486

Craig Fitzhugh, Democrat

Starting balance: $681,855

Contributions from individuals/PACs: $0

Self-funding: $0

Spending: $38,725

Closing balance: $566,200

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