NASHVILLE — Former Arkansas governor and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has endorsed Tennessee Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd and is appearing in a new television ad promoting the Knoxville businessman.
The 30-second spot begins airing statewide today on broadcast and cable TV, Boyd's campaign says.
The conservative politician, minister, author and commentator appears on screen, saying "Tennessee needs a conservative businessman as governor who can get things done."
As the ad shifts to slow-motion footage of Boyd walking through a warehouse talking with, presumably, an employee, Huckabee says "Randy Boyd has spent his life building a company from scratch. And like President Trump, he knows what it takes to disrupt government as usual."
Huckabee goes on to say that Boyd, a former state economic and community development commissioner, opposes "sanctuary cities." Describing Boyd as "pro-life," Huckabee says Boyd "wants to make Tennessee the most adoption-friendly state in America. And Randy believes what really matters in our communities is faith, family and a good-paying job. Vote Randy Boyd for governor."
In a statement, Boyd said he admires "Huckabee's leadership and all he has contributed to the conservative movement as a consistent voice for faith and family values ... and will lean on his counsel in the days to come."
Huckabee, a one-time Fox News host, ran unsuccessfully for president twice but carryied Tennessee in 2008 by wide margins. Boyd's campaign CEO is Chip Saltsman, a former Tennessee Republican Party chairman who served as Huckabee's national campaign manager in the former Arkansas governor's 2008 presidential effort.
Other major Republicans in Tennessee's GOP gubernatorial primary are U.S. Rep. Diane Black of Gallatin, state House Speaker Beth Harwell of Nashville and Franklin businessman Bill Lee.
Top Democrats running are former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and state House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley. With early voting in Tennessee's Aug. 2 elections starting July 13, all the major candidates are airing television ads.