Tuesday, July 17, 2018

I am voting for Randy Boyd

by Rod Williams,  July 31, 2018 - A few days ago in a post titled,  Who I am voting for, for Governor in the Republican primary,  I said that I was still undecided for whom I would vote and was skipping early voting because I had not yet made up my mind.  I laid out some pros and cons of each of the candidates and expressed by disgust with candidates Black and Boyd for the tone of the campaign. I said that I would not vote for Lee because I did not think now was time for an outsider with no government experience. That left me contemplating a vote for Beth Harwell, who it appears is so far behind she is hardly in the running, or simply not voting.  A vote for Harwell would be a protest vote and I also defended the action of not voting.

Since that post, Diane Black has sunk to a new low in dirty campaigning by an unfair attack on Bill Lee. The ad exploits a legal dispute in 2009 with an Army National Guard member who claimed wrongful termination. A look at the facts looks like Lee company did nothing wrong. The Guard member was among several other employees laid off during the economic downturn in 2008 and Lee company worked to help him find the employee other work. You can read about it here.

With Diane hitting a new low in dirty campaigning, my thinking has changed and I actually want to vote against her.  I regret coming to this decision.  I always liked Black.  I was familiar with her service in the State legislature and the Congress. When the campaign for governor began, she was my preferred candidate. However, as she has engaged in gutter politics, my support for her has waned. I have come to the conclusion that she is not a very nice person.

It is not that Randy Boyd has clean hand either. He has attacked Black. Some of the ads are in the nature of the pot calling the kettle Black. Both Black and Boyd have a mixed record on immigration but have attacked each other over the topic, despite immigration not being an issue the governor can do much about. Boyd has engaged in criticism of Lee for having made a campaign contribution to Megan Barry despite Boyd himself having contributed money to the campaign of the mayor of Knoxville who is a Democrat.

I am not always opposed to negative ads if they are relevant and expose a candidates record or refute a candidate's policy positions, but many of the ads in this campaign have been irrelevant to the issues that matter and have been nit-picking and down right dishonest. I think Diane Black has crossed a line.

With the decision that I could not support Diane Black due to the type of campaign she has ran, my choice narrowed to Lee, Boyd, Harwell or not voting.  I had already eliminated Lee. Despite thinking he is a good moral man, I do not think we need someone with no government experience at this time. I do not think Harwell is competitive. For some reason her campaign just never gained traction, so a vote for her would simply be a protest vote. Having eliminated Black and Lee and seeing a vote for Harwell as a throw-away vote, I decided I had to support Boyd. It looks like the race is now a three-way race between Black, Boyd and Lee and I decided I would prefer Boyd to either of the others.

What I really want in the next governor is not a new direction.  The fact that a candidate is a disciple of Donald Trump does not impress me much. What I want is a "moderate," in the terminology of today's political spectrum. I want a capable administrator who will continue continue the progress we have been making. I want an improved standard of living for Tennesseans, new job opportunities and continued improvement in our state's education standing. I want a person who will stay focused on Tennessee issues and the fundamentals. I really want continuity.  I want a Haslam third term and I think Randy Boyd is the person to best deliver.

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