Can’t We All Just Get Along? Republican Candidates Sling Mud Before Election

Randy Boyd, Diane Black, Beth Harwell, Bill Lee

On Monday’s edition on The Gill Report – broadcast on Knoxville’s 92.3 FM WETRTennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill discussed the unscrupulous battle between Republican nominees for Governor elections August 2nd in Tennessee and the support that the winning candidate may or may not receive from members of their party once elected.

Steve Gill observed, “The Republican primary for governor is getting brutal and bitter. You’re seeing attack ads flying back and forth. Beth Harwell’s attacking her opponents with one ad that features them as little children dressed up as you know, a working construction guy, she’s got Diane Black with a blonde wig and her glasses, and then Randy Boyd with his suit. But these are all young kids.”

He continued:

You’ve got Diane Black and Randy Boyd both viciously attacking each other and Bill Lee. And Bill Lee is kind of using the attack, “I’m the only nice guy vote for me!”

The bottom line is there is a lot of vitriol and bitterness that has been built in, baked in to this primary process. And on August 2nd the votes will be counted. Someone, one of these four, will win the Republican primary for Governor.

And then you’ve got Karl Dean sitting there, waiting in the wings, has plenty of money has some name recognition has a more liberal record than any and all of the potential nominees. But he’s sitting back and he’s going to emerge completely unscathed and un-bloodied with no scars from his primary battle with the House Minority elader Fitzhugh. So, what happens then? Can the Republicans come back together, can they kiss and make up? That’s easy for the candidates to at least play nice.

Again, there will be some bitterness, some angry recriminations that will be discussed in back rooms. But for the most part, they are going to act like good sports, shake the hand of the winner, say something relatively nice, and endorse presumably whoever wins the primary battle. That’s all well and good for the candidates themselves.

But how do the people who’ve been putting up yard signs, battling their friends and maybe former friends on Facebook. The enemies that have been created during this bitter, bitter Republican primary won’t heal quickly. And yet there’s only ninety days approximately until the November election. Early voting starts even sooner than that.

Will people in the Republican ranks come behind whoever wins? Will the moderates that are backing the Beth Harwell’s and the more moderate Randy Boyd be willing to vote for and work for and donate to conservative nominee Diane Black or Bill Lee?

If Diane Black or Bill Lee lose, will they support a Randy Boyd who they view as more moderate than their own candidates? Kissing and making up will be hard and there’s not much time to do it.

Listen to the full segment:




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4 Thoughts to “Can’t We All Just Get Along? Republican Candidates Sling Mud Before Election”

  1. Donna Locke

    I voted for Diane Black. If Boyd wins the primary, I will not vote in the governor’s race unless Fitzhugh wins the Dem primary. Then I will vote for Fitzhugh.

  2. Bob Miles

    When I first read the headlines, I was sure they were talking about Jimmy Matlock in the 2nd Congressional District race.

  3. Austin

    When political candidates stop slinging mud, the country will be in trouble. At least they have stopped dueling, thanks to women candidates.

  4. 83ragtop50

    The use of children in any and all political ads runs strongly against my grain. Kiss babies for the cameras and let it end there. I have no problem with the infighting – it reminds me of the days of the country’s founding where quality men like Jefferson, Madison and Washington had strong convictions and spoke out against those who promoted other policies. Like the old saying goes if everyone else agrees with the boss, then they are of no value. The “courtroom” of public discussion and disagreement are of great value in that they reveal the good, the bad and the ugly. they key is really to unite behind the winner – assuming it is any one other than “LaRaza” Randy Boyd. Boyd and Dean are almost two peas in the same pod as far as I am concerned.