NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell has been quietly calling people over the last week telling them she is definitely running for governor.
WJHL sister station WKRN News 2 ins Nashville has been told by several state and local officeholders that the longtime Republican Nashville lawmaker is looking for their support in a 2018 gubernatorial bid.
One of the public officials says a formal announcement could come as early as Sunday from Harwell who is the first woman ever elected as House speaker in Tennessee.
The announcement has long been expected as Harwell has attended a variety of local political events all over the state in recent months.
A spokesperson for the Speaker chose not to comment for this story.
Harwell will join State Senator Mae Beavers, former state economic commissioner Randy Boyd, and Franklin businessman Bill Lee as the other candidates who have officially announced they will seek the Republican nomination for governor.
Middle Tennessee congressional member Diane Black is also expected to join the race.
Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean is the only Democrat to announce a gubernatorial bid.
Both party primaries for governor are in August of 2018.