ICYMI: Tennessee GOP Primary Turns into “Brutal Slog”
In case you missed it, The Tennessean profiled the ugly tone in the final days of the Tennessee Republican gubernatorial primary. The race between Bill Lee, Rep. Diane Black, Randy Boyd, and House Speaker Beth Harwell has featured ratcheted-up attack ads, anonymous text messages, and threats of legal action. With just days before Thursday’s voting, the candidates are emptying their campaign accounts and dipping into personal funds to amp up the attacks, in hopes of emerging from this ‘brutal slog.’
Tennessean: Inside the Republican campaign for Tennessee governor as election day nears
Anonymous text messages, misleading mailers, TV attack ads and a cease-and-desist letter have rounded out this year’s Republican gubernatorial primary.
The race has gone from a cordial affair with a clear front-runner to a brutal slog that remains a toss-up with just days to go before Thursday’s primary.
While touting their support for President Donald Trump, the four top-tier candidates have tried to flex their conservative muscles, amassed millions of dollars in donations and dipped into their personal wealth, all in an effort to secure the nomination.
Then the race took a turn.
In late June and early July, Boyd and Black launched a bitter blitzkrieg of negative attacks ads on television.
Black attacked first, calling Boyd and Lee moderates. Boyd responded by seizing on a 2016 interview of Black conducted by Katie Couric to suggest the congressman hadn’t always supported Trump’s plan to build a wall along the southern border of the United States.
While most observers anticipate Thursday’s election will be close, any potential divisions between the candidates will need to heal quickly — the party is planning a Saturday gathering to show unity.
It’s unclear whether a two day turnaround and writing off the loss of a small fortune is enough to get the three losers to fall in love, or more importantly, fall in line.