FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) – For the first time over the weekend, four of the five major Republican candidates for governor stood together on the same stage, but how are they separating themselves before the same crowd?
The candidates will be in many similar settings over the next year, so we asked the specific question about distinguishing themselves from the others–at least at this early stage of a primary campaign the won’t end until the first week of August next year.
At state Senator Jack Johnson’s annual fundraiser Sunday, each of the candidates spoke by alphabetical order, so we will put their answers the same way.
Mae Beavers cited her long voting record in the Tennessee House and Senate.
“I will put my conservative voting record against anyone who is running and I think I have the record to back up what i am say,” said Beavers who mentioned to the gathering her vote against the “gas tax” which was passed earlier this by the legislature.
Suburban Nashville congressional member Diane Black takes a similar stand about her record on Tennessee’s Capitol Hill, but adds her years in Washington.
“I think I distinguish myself from my past experiences in both the state house and the state senate and now in congress that I am a fighter and I get things done,” Black told News 2.
Beth Harwell focuses not as much on her long history on Tennessee’s Capitol Hil more as her six years as Tennessee House Speaker.
“We (as a state) are doing well financially, we have fastest improving test scores for our children, so I hope I have been a large part of the good things that have been happening,” said Harwell. “I dont have to talk about it. I have been doing it.”
Franklin businessman Bill Lee will be different than any of the candidates by planning to drive a tractor across the state focusing on rural issues.
While doing so, he will continue to tell his personal story that is central to his campaign.
“I really just like to share with people who I am, what motivates me, and what I believe in,” said Lee, “and (share) my heart for Tennessee and what it can become.”
Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd was not at Sunday’s event, but he is literally running across the state as part of his campaign.
None of the other candidates have indicated such a run.
Congressional Representative Marsha Blackburn, who is not in the race, says the candidates just need to be themselves and share core beliefs, but she’s also thinks the field might still grow.
“You know there may be more people that get into the race yet,” she told News 2, but Blackburn did not speculate who that might be.