Kingsport’s 70th Annual Chamber Dinner draws three potential governor candidates

KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) – Three people interested in running for Tennessee’s highest seat in government were in the Tri-Cities Friday night celebrating Kingsport’s 70th Annual Chamber Dinner.

The social event of the year is a place for conversation and celebration of a city on the move.

Governor Haslam’s time in office ends in less than two years, News Channel 11 found out that Kingsport’s Chamber Dinner attracted three people interested in his position.

fb74b0c867de45b58041644b9cd2e1f6“I’m exploring it right now,” current Speaker of the House in the Tennessee House of Representatives, Beth Harwell said.

Harwell is no stranger to government and she said she’d want to stay in politics to continue making change.

“This is such a wonderful state and I just so much enjoy state government because it’s where you can really get something done. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in the state of Tennessee and I want to keep it moving forward,” Harwell said.

Randy Boyd is also familiar with Nashville; he was part of the team that created the Drive to 55 Initiative and Tennessee Promise.b1d19492bfad44b8a4fa0cade94941cc

“That’s the period of my life that the governor showed me that public service will allow you to make a bigger difference in the world,” the former Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development said.

Boyd said he’s looking into running for governor to keep education a top priority.

“If I decided to do so it would be to keep that momentum and that direction going,” Boyd said.

Lastly, a businessman from middle Tennessee is also interested in running. Bill Lee has no political experience but he said he visits the Tri-Cities frequently and would focus on key issues.

0c570e54cb564702ae03abe8f46d55be“Jobs, education, public safety it holds true whether you’re in urban Memphis or whether you’re in Unicoi County,” Lee said.

Harwell, Boyd and Lee all say they are interested in running but have not made any official announcements.

So far, middle Tennessee Senator Mark Green is the only candidate to have officially filed paperwork for the gubernatorial race.

Tennessee Congressman Diane Black and State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris are also considering whether to run.

Copyright WJHL 2017. All rights reserved.

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