NASHVILLE - Six Chattanooga area city mayors are among 33 municipal chief executives who are endorsing Randy Boyd in his Republican bid for Tennessee governor, the campaign announced today.
The list includes Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland, Dayton Mayor Gary Louallen and Dunlap Mayor Dwain Land.
Others are Pikeville Mayor Philip Cagle, Athens Mayor Chuck Burris and Sweetwater Mayor Doyle Lowe.
Entrepreneur businessman Boyd is one of five Republicans running to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Bill Haslam.
The candidate did a two-year stint working for the governor as his commissioner for economic and community development.
A newcomer to politics, part of Boyd's strategy has included a rush to lock down endorsements from county and city mayors, a number worked with as commissioner.
"I am honored and grateful to have these outstanding leaders standing with me so early in this campaign," Boyd said in a news release. "I look forward to working with them to truly make Tennessee THE State of Opportunity – for education, for jobs, for ALL of Tennessee."
In endorsing Boyd, according to the release, many of the mayors pointed to Boyd's "proven experience and commitment in supporting their communities, including his work as the state's economic development commissioner, as the architect of the state's Tennessee Promise college scholarship program and Drive to 55 workforce development initiative, as co-chair of the state's Rural Task Force, and his commitment to aggressively attacking the state's opioid crisis."
Boyd this week announced a 10-point plan to combat Tennessee's opioid problems. The move came after a task force looking at the state's opioid epidemic, created by Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville who is also running for governor, outlined its recommendations.
Others running in the GOP primary are former state Sen. Mae Beavers and Franklin businessman Bill Lee.
Declared Democrats are former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and state House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley.