Tennessee governor's race: Black most donors; Harwell most cash

Friday, February 2, 2018, Vol. 42, No. 5

NASHVILLE (AP) — In the most recent fundraising period of the Tennessee governor's race, U.S. Rep. Diane Black raised the most from donors, with more than $1.7 million, and state House Speaker Beth Harwell ended with the flushest bank account, topping $5 million.

Campaign finance reports filed by Wednesday's deadline also show the six major candidates tapped into personal wealth from July to mid-January. For several of them, it wasn't the first time they had put their own money into their gubernatorial campaigns.

In the Republican field, Harwell loaned her campaign $3.1 million, businessman Randy Boyd infused his with $2 million, Black contributed $1 million and businessman Bill Lee loaned his $908,000.

On the Democratic side, state House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh loaned $500,000 to his campaign, and ex-Nashville Mayor Karl Dean added $200,000 of his own money.

Additionally, Harwell benefited from transferring $894,600 sitting in bank accounts from her other committees. She raised about $1.2 million from donors.

Lee raised the least from other donors in the Republican field, with $904,700. He headed into mid-January with $3.7 million in his account.

Boyd spent almost $2.7 million, the most out of all candidates vying for governor. He raised almost $1.3 million and had $4.1 million cash left, the second-most money on hand in the field.

Dean led the Democratic field with more than $1.2 million raised and $1.8 million remaining. Fitzhugh, a lawmaker from Ripley, raised the least out of the field of major candidates, with $304,500 over the period. He has $681,900 cash left.

The primary election to replace term-limited Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is Aug. 2.