NASHVILLE — Republican gubernatorial hopeful Randy Boyd's plan to bring in former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to headline a major fundraiser is drawing fire from GOP primary rival U.S. Rep. Diane Black's campaign.
"Jeb Bush and Randy Boyd are a match made in establishment heaven," Black campaign spokesman Chris Hartline said Wednesday in a statement. "Their pro-illegal immigration, pro-big government, anti-Trump positions are more suited to the Democratic primary than the Republican primary."
The Tennessean reported earlier in the day that Bush would be at the Nov. 30 event in Nashville. The son and brother of two presidents, Bush ran unsuccessfully for president himself in 2016, vying unsuccessfully against now-President Donald Trump, whom Bush said would be a "chaos president" if elected.
Black's campaign called it "no surprise that Randy Boyd would bring in Jeb Bush to shake down Nashville donors besides, they agree on pretty much everything."
A Boyd campaign spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Boyd is Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's former commissioner of the state's Economic and Community Development Department.
Critics already are trying to knock Boyd, a multi-millionaire Knoxville businessman, as a GOP "moderate," and the Black campaign quickly sought to tie Boyd to various Bush endeavors such as Common Core education standards.
In 2015, Boyd supported Bush in the GOP presidential primary and ran as an at-large delegate for the candidate. Trump swept the primary.
Besides Boyd and Black, other Republicans running for the 2018 party nomination include former state Sen. Mae Beavers, state House Speaker Beth Harwell and Williamson County businessman Bill Lee.
Andy Sher can be reached at email@example.com or 615-255-0550.
This story was updated Oct. 18 at 11:59 p.m. with more information.