TSEA endorses Harwell for GOP gubernatorial nomination, Fitzhugh for Democratic nod

Press release from Tennessee State Employees Association

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Employees Action Movement (TEAM-PAC) the official PAC of TSEA, today voted to endorse Beth Harwell in the Republican Primary and Craig Fitzhugh in the Democratic Primary in the race for Governor in Tennessee. 

“This was a lengthy endorsement process, including written and in-person interviews,” TEAM-PAC Chair Pat Bowman said. “In the end, I am pleased with the candidates we’ve endorsed.” 

TEAM-PAC requested interviews from all the major candidates for Governor. Randy Boyd, Beth Harwell, Craig Fitzhugh, Karl Dean, and Bill Lee all responded. TEAM-PAC received no response from Diane Black’s campaign. 

During TSEA’s annual Representative Assembly, held this year at Pickwick Landing State Park, state employee association delegates gathered to review candidate questionnaires as well as to hear from the candidates in person. After interviewing the candidates, the association delegates caucused and voted. The TEAM-PAC administrative committee, after reviewing the vote totals, chose to concur with the results. 

“We appreciate the time each candidate spent answering questions from state employees, and for traveling to Pickwick Landing to answer our questions in person” TSEA Executive Director Randy Stamps said. “We look forward to working with both of our endorsed candidates in their bid to receive the nominations of their respective parties.” 


TEAM-PAC is the political action arm of the Tennessee State Employees Association. Founded in 1974, TSEA represents the rights and interests of 40,000 state employees in Tennessee and has a rich history of improving the lives of its state employee members. For further information, visit TSEA’s website at www.tseaonline.org.

The two campaigns receiving the TSEA endorsement promptly sent out declarations of gratitude:

 From the Fitzhugh campaign

“It’s a true honor to receive the endorsement of hardworking women and men who have dedicated their lives serving the people of Tennessee,” said Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh. “For the past 24 years, I have fought for working people across this state to make sure they are compensated fairly, have access to quality healthcare and ensure they have safe work environments. Earning the trust of our state employees is a critical first step for the next Governor and I am honored to be their candidate of choice.”

Harwell comment from campaign email:

“I am so honored and grateful to receive the endorsement of the TSEA. I enjoyed the endorsement process and the opportunity to interact with TSEA. This is an organization that I know well, and I also know from first-hand experience the value our state employees bring to public service every day, and I applaud their commitment to help make Tennessee government run effectively and efficiently. TSEA has always had an open door and a listening ear from me, and that will continue when I am Governor!”

3 Responses to TSEA endorses Harwell for GOP gubernatorial nomination, Fitzhugh for Democratic nod

  • Avatar
    William Upton says:

    Now we know who not to vote for……

    • Avatar
      Who Upton says:

      Mr. Upton,
      Please explain why you would not vote for an endorsed candidate by this group. Unlike many other associations this one is not affiliated with any other group their only objective is the betterment of state employees. So you don’t want to vote for this candidate because she or he is supported by the very people that protect our state, pave our state, take care of those who are the most vulnerable and do so much more. If that is the case then who are you voting for and why?

  • Avatar
    Cannoneer2 says:

    One thing I quickly learned when I became a state employee (non-Commissioner, non-Governor’s staff, non-Legislative staff) is that there is a rather large group of loudmouthed jerks who want to make sure that rank and file state employees never get anything positive accomplished for themselves without a dogged fight every step of the way. However, these same people are first in line and noisy when they need a government service. They will also overlook waste and gross incompetence in high echelons, so long as it is within their own party. I still get peeved about this, and have been out of state government employment for nearly 20 years. Well said, Who Upton.

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