Since launching earlier this year, Randy Boyd’s gubernatorial campaign has sent out numerous press releases announcing the names of county mayors who are supporting him for governor. To date, 45 county mayors across Tennessee have endorsed Boyd. The state has 95 counties.
In 44 of these 45 counties where Boyd has claimed the mayor’s support, President Trump won the vote overwhelmingly over Hillary Clinton in the November 2016 general election – with anywhere from 56.4 percent to 84.9 percent of the vote. (Shelby County is the lone exception)
Here is the list of the 44 counties won convincingly by President Trump whose county mayors have pledged support to Boyd for Governor:
Anderson, Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Carroll, Claiborne, Cocke, Decatur, Dyer, Fayette, Fentress, Franklin, Gibson, Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, Henry, Hickman, Humphreys, Jefferson, Johnson, Lake, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Loudon, Marshall, Monroe, Montgomery, Moore, Morgan, Obion, Overton, Pickett, Rhea, Roane, Scott, Sequatchie, Sevier, Unicoi, Union, Washington, Weakley, White.
By supporting Boyd for governor, these county mayor are going against the voters on a key issue that put Trump in the White House, namely, illegal immigration.
Boyd, who says he “aspire[s] to be like” failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney, aligned himself with “never-Trump” Romney who called Trump a “fraud” and a “phony.” During Romney’s “E2” 2016 retreat which included establishment Republican attendees like Speaker Paul Ryan, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Boyd rejected outright doing anything to support Trump’s campaign:
“The idea of putting my name on anything is anathema to me.”
McCain and Graham, who continue to try to undermine President Trump, were among the chief sponsors of the 2013 “Gang of Eight” comprehensive immigration reform bill that provided a path to citizenship for illegal aliens in the U.S. Paul Ryan supports what he calls “earned legalization” for people who enter the country by violating U.S. immigration laws.
Not only was Boyd committed to the “never-Trump” movement, he had also joined as a named member, the Partnership for a New American Economy which formed to push the 2013 immigration reform bill. The organization renamed itself “New American Economy” and is now working against the pro-American worker “RAISE Act” which Trump supports. They are also pushing for Congress to pass a DREAM Act to benefit certain illegal aliens.
So committed to working to defeat Trump, Boyd embraced Jeb Bush, serving as a Bush delegate-at-large in the primary. Bush supported an amnesty plan for illegal immigrants, saying that even though the law is being violated, “[i]t’s an act of love. It’s an act of commitment to your family.” Bush is now trying to rally establishment Republicans to attack President Trump on the fictional Russia issue.
Governor Haslam was the only elected official in Tennessee to openly reject Trump before the election even though he was the duly nominated GOP presidential candidate.
Haslam brought Boyd into his administration to serve as Commissioner of Economic & Community Development, a convenient way to travel the state, get some press and name recognition and perhaps most importantly, dispense public funds to county mayors.
Boyd served as Commissioner for two years, leaving this position in January 2017 before announcing his campaign for governor in March 2017. Just months prior to his departure, Haslam and Boyd announced approving $27 million in Community Development Block Grants spread over sixty-nine Tennessee communities, $750,000 to nine communities for Commercial Facade Improvement Grants, and in the same month in which he announced his departure from ECD, $990,000 in Tourism Enhancement Grants to twenty-nine communities.