Boyd: 'Volume is going to be turned way up' in GOP gubernatorial race

Hank Hayes • Jan 21, 2018 at 3:30 PM

KINGSPORT — Tennessee Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd believes that, in the end, it won’t be about name identification or “name ID.”

During a recent stop at the Times News, Boyd was asked about U.S. Rep. Diane Black being the early frontrunner in the polls headed toward an August Republican primary that will include major candidates like House Speaker Beth Harwell, Williamson County businessman Bill Lee and former state Sen. Mae Beavers.

“It’s early and in some of the early polls, when they ask about me, it’s about name ID,” Boyd, a Knoxville businessman and former state economic development commissioner, responded. “(Black) usually leads with name ID, but being known and being favored to be the next governor are two different things. Most people really haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about it yet, but over the next six months, the volume is going to be turned way up. People are going to learn more and more about the candidates. I still believe they are going to vote for a nonprofessional politician and business person and outsider over some politician in (Washington) D.C.”

Boyd’s income tax summary and 1040 pages for tax years 2015 and 2016 indicate that he and his wife, Jenny, earned $42.4 million from their business investments in total income over the two years, while generating $30.1 million in taxable income, paying more than $8.5 million in combined federal and state taxes, and contributing in excess of $10.3 million to more than 100 charitable and nonprofit causes across the state during those two years.

Boyd’s stop in Kingsport included meeting with young entrepreneurs at Sync Space on Sullivan Street and the Professionals Engaged in Advancing Kingsport group.

“What I shared was how critical they are to our state’s future. … The future of our state is going to be determined by entrepreneurs, people who haven’t started their business yet,” Boyd noted. “We’ve got to do everything we can to support them. … They shared back with me that their biggest challenge is capital. I’m going to have to find more ways to attract startup capital in the state of Tennessee.”

Boyd also addressed these issues:

The opioid crisis, which is a legislative priority in this year’s General Assembly: “I’m hopeful that in addition to some bills, we can take some executive action quickly. There are some things we can do, like declare a state of emergency. We can appoint a chief epidemic officer to organize the executive branch around this problem. The chief epidemic officer could have TennCare, the Department of Health working together on education and helping young people understand how dangerous these things are, get these resources going and discuss an action plan every day. This is a situation where nobody really owns it, but somebody needs to own it.”

The possibility of a Northeast Tennessee megasite for economic development: “In Northeast Tennessee, it’s unlikely to have a megasite per se because it’s 4,100 acres, and that’s hard to find 4,100 acres in East Tennessee. But I think we can do smaller, high-value-added sites like Aerospace Park at Tri-Cities Airport. There we have a potential site that could draw not only jobs but high-paying jobs.”

The volatile issue of removing Confederate statues: “I believe our history is our history and we need to protect our history so we can learn from it. I would hope we could sit down with people with different views on this and come up with a workable solution, some way to put our history in perspective and preserving it at the same time.”

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