KNOXVILLE — Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd announced a new round of endorsements on Monday, bringing the number of county and city mayors across Tennessee who have endorsed his candidacy to more than 120, along with 50 sheriffs and other law enforcement leaders.
Among the latest round of endorsements were the mayors of Hawkins and Perry counties, along with sheriffs in Blount, Chester, Hamilton, Knox and McNairy counties and a longer list of city mayors.
Scott County Mayor Dale Perdue is among the county mayors across Tennessee who have endorsed Boyd.
Boyd, a Knoxville entrepreneur who served a stint in the cabinet of Governor Bill Haslam as Commissioner of Economic & Community Development, stumped in Scott County last week, and said his momentum continues to grow.
“I’m so grateful to these outstanding leaders for their confidence and support,” Boyd said of those endorsing him. “One thing I’ve seen first-hand is that government governs best closest to home, and when I’m governor, we will work to bring the power back home where it works best and where it belongs.
“Our local communities know their own citizens. They see them every day at the grocery store, the barbershop and around their community. Local leaders are the ones people call when they have an issue. As governor, I’m going to do everything I can to support them.”
Boyd has pledged to appoint a second deputy to the governor, whose sole focus will be to support and boost local governments. He said the new deputy will work by his side in Nashville to advance and fight for the causes of local communities.
Boyd was one of the earliest Republicans in the race to succeed Haslam, who is term-limited, and has campaigned heavily for months. However, polls have suggested he is struggling against Congresswoman Diane Black, who has better name recognition among Tennessee voters.
A survey released by Vanderbilt University in May found that 86 percent of respondents recognized Black’s name, compared to 68 percent for Boyd. However, only 44 percent of respondents said they had a favorable view of Black.
Meanwhile, Williamson County businessman Bill Lee had the best favorability rating in that May survey, but he was also lesser known; only one in three respondents said they knew him.
While Boyd has been racking up endorsements from local leaders, Black seems to enjoy more support at the legislative level, despite Boyd’s close connection to the Haslam administration, which enjoys a genial relationship with the Republican-dominated General Assembly.
Most recently, State Sen. Mark Green endorsed Black, calling the Gallatin Republican “a conservative fighter” who “helped President Trump write the tax cuts.”
The National Rifle Association has also endorsed Black, as have National Right to Life and the Family Research Council.