Tea Party Nation founder and long time conservative activist Judson Phillips endorsed Diane Black for Governor Wednesday, in a statement posted on his personal website.
“In four months, Tennesseans will go to the polls and select the Republican nominee to be governor of this state,” Phillip’s statement begins, adding:
The Primary will decide the governor’s race. It doesn’t matter who the Democrats nominate, because they are not going to win.
It does matter who the Republicans nominate.
There is only one choice on the Republican side. There is only one conservative option. That is Diane Black.
The GOP field consists of Congressman Black, liberal Randy “La Raza” Boyd, Bill Lee and Beth “tax hike” Harwell. None of them are conservative. Randy Boyd is the choice of the Haslam wing of the party. The eight years of Bill Haslam have been nothing short of a disaster. Haslam has governed to the left of the Democrats.
Bill Lee does nothing but talk about how his wife died and he had to raise his children without her. That is noble but that does not make him a conservative. When asked a few months ago about the Haslam tax hike, Lee called it, “water under the bridge.” He certainly will not cut taxes or spending.
Beth Harwell carried the water for the Haslam tax hike. She ran the bill through the House and rewarded members of the House who supported the tax hike. She is no conservative.
Diane Black has taken on Planned Parenthood in DC. She has also taken on the IRS. IRS reform is an issue I have worked on for several years. Earlier this year, she and Congressman Peter Roskam introduced the Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act, to prevent the IRS from using and sharing data about donors to conservative groups.
Congressman Black did not have to get into this fight. She was running for governor and could have taken a pass. She stood on principle. She has been presented with the Award for Conservative Excellence from the American Conservative Union. President Trump supports Diane Black.
Some conservatives don’t like Diane Black. Much of this has to do with prior races. In 2016, I stood against Diane Black in her race with my friend Joe Carr. Politics is about looking to the future, not looking to the past and Diane Black has earned my support.
I endorse Diane Black to be Tennessee’s next governor and I encourage conservatives in this state to rally around her and support her.
In an email exchange with The Tennessee Star, Phillips stressed the importance of the 2018 Governor’s race. “After 8 years of a disastrous liberal Republican sitting in the governor’s chair, we need a conservative as governor,” he wrote. “Diane Black is the only conservative running. The conservative movement in Tennessee needs to unite around her.”
Phillips’ endorsement marks another important step in Black’s campaign to build the most substantial grassroots network in Tennessee’s political history.
So far, the campaign notes, their County Leadership Team has over 500 members, and field offices across the state.