Randy Boyd leaving Haslam administration as he ponders gov’s bid

Randy Boyd (Courtesy: Tennessee State Government)
Randy Boyd (Courtesy: Tennessee State Government)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Randy Boyd is stepping down as commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development as he ponders a bid to succeed term-limited Gov. Bill Haslam in 2018.

Boyd, a Knoxville entrepreneur, has served as Haslam’s chief business recruiter since 2015. Before that, he was a top adviser to the governor as he rolled out a free community college program called Tennessee Promise.

Boyd is the founder of Radio Systems Corp., a Knoxville-based maker of invisible fences and other pet products.

Boyd is among several Republicans milling gubernatorial bids. They include U.S. Rep. Diane Black of Gallatin, state House Speaker Beth Harwell and state Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville. State Sen. Mark Green of Ashland City is the only candidate to file official fundraising papers so far.