Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger speaks during the 76th annual Meeting and Luncheon of the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau at the Chattanooga Convention Center Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, in Chattanooga, Tenn. The State of the Tourism Industry address was given during the event.

Coppinger backs Boyd

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger has endorsed Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd's bid to become Tennessee's next governor.

Coppinger made the announcement last week in a joint news conference at Liberty Tower in Chattanooga.

"I stand before you today in full support of Randy Boyd's challenge to become Tennessee's governor," Coppinger said, praising him for his passion and compassion in pushing state education and economic development initiatives.

Boyd, a former state economic development director under Gov. Bill Haslam, said Coppinger's endorsement honored and humbled him.

"Mayors across our state prove they know how to get things done," Boyd said, citing support he has received from county and city mayors across the state.

Boyd faces four others seeking the Republican nomination for the governor's seat, including former state Sen. Mae Beavers, U.S. Rep. Diane Black, state House Speaker Beth Harwell and businessman Bill Lee.

House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh and former Nashville mayor Karl Dean seek the Democratic Party nomination for governor.

Black visits Chattanooga for EPB demonstration

U.S. Rep. Diane Black, of Gallatin, Tenn., who also is seeking the Republican gubernatorial nomination, visited Chattanooga last week with other members of Tennessee's congressional delegation to see a new type of energy storage demonstration.

The occasion was EPB tying a new type of battery developed by Department of Energy labs into its solar power grid.

U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, along with U.S. Reps. Chuck Fleischmann and Black — praised the innovative technology and EPB's partnership with DOE, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in the DOE's Grid Modernization Lab Consortium program.

"There is amazing working going on" at Oak Ridge National Lab and it's partnership with #EPB," Black tweeted from the event. "@EPB_Chattanooga is a world leader — researching and implementing cutting-edge technology!"