‘Old dog with new tricks,’ says gubernatorial candidate Craig Fitzhugh

Craig Fitzhugh (Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – House Democratic leader Craig Fitzhugh has some things in his background that no other candidate for Tennessee governor can claim.

One of the world’s most famous singers, who also hails from West Tennessee, was once his babysitter. The lawmaker also plays a part in his hometown’s Friday Night Lights.

On any Friday during the home games of the Ripley Tigers, you will find Fitzhugh in the press box as the public address announcer.

Craig Fitzhugh (Submitted)

“I have been doing it for 15 years or so,” says Fitzhugh, who has also spent the last 23 years representing the area around his town in the legislature.

As for that world famous singer, she went on to become known as Tina Turner with a song about her West Tennessee hometown called “Nutbush City Limits.”

Might she be asked to be part of his campaign?

“I am working on it, at least a Robo call or something like that,” he laughed– but seriously hopes it might happen. “I plan to reach out to her.”

Small town Tennessee roots play a big role in why Craig Fitzhugh wants to be governor.

Fitzhugh says he has done a lot of things, but nothing that has taken him out of his West Tennessee for very long.

“I left the county, went to a college bigger than my county. I served in the military,” added Fitzhugh. “But I am a rural guy, a public school guy from day one and a small business guy who has met a payroll.”

(Photo: WKRN)

Fitzhugh feels those roots separate him former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean–the other candidate in the democratic primary race for governor.

He welcomes the party contest.

“I think that is good for the state. We just don’t have to sit and watch the other five on the other side fight it out to see who is governor,” added the House Democrat leader. “We are going to be part of it.”

Fitzhugh points to 23 years in the state legislature, including many as Democrat House leader, as experience no other candidate has.

“I think I can offer a well-rounded governor who can work with the other side. I been doing it now for 23 years.” he said. “I am an old dog, but I have some new tricks.”

With several wealthy candidates in the race and one on the democrat side, most observers feel keeping up with them in fundraising will be a key to Fitzhugh’s campaign.