Diane Black announced her county-level leadership teams over the weekend.
The former U.S. Representative named 364 former and current elected officials, business and community leaders, pastors, farmers, Republican Party and Tea Party officers and activists to lead her campaign across the state.
“Our next Governor will be faced with significant challenges, but also presented with significant opportunities. I’m honored by the grassroots support in our state and look forward to having this team fighting side by side with me to protect our Tennessee values,” Black said in a press release about her announcement.
Black's Rutherford County team is:
• Mike Connor,
• Beth Cope,
• Evan Cope,
• Van Hilleary,
• Albert Jennings,
• District Attorney General Jennings Jones and
• Smyrna City Councilman Tim Morrell.
Black has a statistically insignificant lead in a crowded pack for the Republican nomination to be Tennessee's next governor, according to the MTSU Poll from Oct. 31.
She led in the sample with 33 percent approval. Rival Republican Beth Harwell, speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives, had the approval of a statistically indistinguishable 32 percent of the sample. Randy Boyd came in at 28 percent approval, and Mae Beavers at 21 percent approval.
But the poll’s error margin for self-described Republican voters was too wide to indicate which, if any of these candidates, was leading the pack.
On the Democratic side, former Nashville mayor Karl Dean has the approval of 49 percent of Democrats. The only other Democratic gubernatorial candidate considered in the poll, Craig Fitzhugh, drew a significantly smaller 26 percent approval.
The primaries in the 2018 governor's race will be held Aug. 2, 2018, along with the Federal Primary, Rutherford County General Election and Murfreesboro City Municipal.
The general election is set for Nov. 6, 2018.
Michelle Willard is a freelance journalist who fills her days with social media marketing, politics and true crime podcasts, and taking complaints. You can complain to her on Twitter @MichWillard or by email michelle(at)murfreesborovoice.com.