Political season gaining steam

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Last Friday wasn’t Randy Boyd’s first trip to Marshall County and it probably won’t be his last either.

While the general election seems far in the future, November next year, the races are already here.

Boyd spent Friday touring the county, visiting the manufacturing plants in Lewisburg, and taking in the Marshall County High School homecoming parade and pep rally on the square.

Boyd is running to become Tennessee’s 50th governor and has already been endorsed by close to 50 of the state’s county mayors, including Marshall County Mayor Joe Boyd Liggett.

The Knoxville businessman founded Radio Systems Corporation, best known for developing the Invisible Fence system, which has grown to a 700 employee pet focused business.

In 2013, Boyd accepted Governor Bill Haslam’s invitation to join his administration as a special advisor on education.

He worked to develop the Drive to 55 initiative, as well as the Tennessee Promise program, aimed at increasing rates of higher education in the state before being appointed as the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development for the state.

In an interview with the Tribune, Boyd emphasized the importance he placed on education as an economic development issue.

“If people think investing in education, developing a work force, creating jobs, and supporting business is important, I’ll probably be their guy,” said Boyd.

Boyd is one of five Republicans running to replace the term-limited Governor Bill Haslam. In addition to Boyd, Marshall County can expect to see plenty of Mae Beavers, Diane Black, Beth Harwell, and Bill Lee before the election cycle is over.

Boyd is not the first gubernatorial candidate to make a stop in the county. Franklin businessman Bill Lee visited with the Marshall County Republican Party for lunch months ago.

Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and current minority leader in the Tennessee House Craig Fitzhugh are contesting the Democratic nomination.

Mariah Phillips, the Democratic challenger for the 4th Congressional District currently held by Scott Desjarlais, made her fourth visit already to Marshall County at the Lion’s Club Octoberfest on Saturday and will be back this weekend for the Goats, Music, and More Festival.

The recent decision of United States Senator Bob Corker not to run for re-election throws another high-profile race into the mix as well.