A look at the Republican candidates for Tennessee governor

Published 07-25-2018

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Six Republicans are vying to replace Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, with four leading candidates in contention to emerge from an expensive, bruising primary election on Aug. 2.

Those four are former state economic development Commissioner Randy Boyd, U.S. Rep. Diane Black, state House Speaker Beth Harwell and businessman Bill Lee.

The winner will face off against the Democratic nominee and more than two dozen independent candidates in November. Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and state House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh are the leading Democratic contenders.

Haslam, a Republican, is hitting his two-term limit.

Here is a look at the GOP field:

RANDY BOYD

Boyd founded Radio Systems Corp., a Knoxville company that produces invisible fences and other pet products, with more than 700 employees and annual revenues of $400 million. The Knoxville businessman took a yearlong leave of absence in 2013 to serve as an adviser to Gov. Haslam, helping him create education initiatives such as the Tennessee Promise program for free tuition at state community colleges. In December 2014, Haslam named Boyd the next state Economic and Community Development commissioner, a post he filled until January 2017.

Website: https://randyboyd.com/

DIANE BLACK

Black was first elected in 2010 to the U.S. House, where s

Boyd founded Radio Systems Corp., a Knoxville company that produces invisible fences and other pet products, with more than 700 employees and annual revenues of $400 million. The Knoxville businessman took a yearlong leave of absence in 2013 to serve as an adviser to Gov. Haslam, helping him create education initiatives such as the Tennessee Promise program for free tuition at state community colleges. In December 2014, Haslam named Boyd the next state Economic and Community Development commissioner, a post he filled until January 2017.

Website: https://randyboyd.com/

DIANE BLACK

Black was first elected in 2010 to the U.S. House, where she served as chairwoman of the powerful Budget Committee from January 2017 until January 2018. She helped work on President Donald Trump's tax law in that role. Before that, she spent more than a decade serving in the Tennessee General Assembly as a state lawmaker, first in the House, then in the Senate. The Gallatin lawmaker is a registered nurse.

Website: https://www.dianeblack.com/

BETH HARWELL

Harwell has served as House speaker since 2011, coinciding with Gov. Haslam's two terms. The Nashville lawmaker has been in the House since 1989. Harwell also served as the Tennessee Republican Party's chairwoman from 2001 u

DIANE BLACK

Black was first elected in 2010 to the U.S. House, where she served as chairwoman of the powerful Budget Committee from January 2017 until January 2018. She helped work on President Donald Trump's tax law in that role. Before that, she spent more than a decade serving in the Tennessee General Assembly as a state lawmaker, first in the House, then in the Senate. The Gallatin lawmaker is a registered nurse.

Website: https://www.dianeblack.com/

BETH HARWELL

Harwell has served as House speaker since 2011, coinciding with Gov. Haslam's two terms. The Nashville lawmaker has been in the House since 1989. Harwell also served as the Tennessee Republican Party's chairwoman from 2001 until 2004. She previously was an assistant professor of political science at Belmont University. In one of the few policy differences in the rightward-tilted GOP field, she supports medical marijuana.

Website: https://bethharwell.com/

BILL LEE

Lee serves as chairman of his family business, Lee Company, a $225 million mechanical contracting, facilities and home services firm with more than 1,200 employees. Lee also is active in his 1,000-acre family cattle farm. The Franklin businessman has focused heavily on his Christian beliefs and has called himself a conservative outsider.

Website: https://www.billlee.com/

BASIL MARCEAUX SR.

Marceaux is a perennial candidate who has run for multiple offices in Tennessee. The Soddy-Daisy resident became an internet sensation during his 2010 gubernatorial bid, when the likes of Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert talked about Marceaux's bizarre comments, including his desire to remove "all gold-fringe flags and fly the real flags with three stripes," halt all traffic stops and plant "grass or vegetation across the state on any vacant lot and sell it for gas." He has reported raising and spending $0 for his 2018 bid.

Website: https://www.republicaninarepublic.com/

KAY WHITE

White, a real estate agent from Johnson City, has previously lost bids for U.S. House is a local tea party organizer. She is a former co-owner and bookkeeper of a 485-acre farm and a former Hawkins County Economic Development Board member. She wants to start each day in publicly funded buildings, including schools and courthouses, with "a moment of silence to remember our Creator," among other views. She has spent about $2,100 on her gubernatorial bid.

Website: https://kaywhiteforgovernor.com/

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