Randy Boyd Fundraiser With Jeb Bush Closed to the Public, $4,000 Bought a Picture With Both

NASHVILLE, Tennessee — Jeb Bush on Thursday headlined a fundraiser for Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd at the Omni Hotel downtown.

Boyd, who is considered an establishment figure by grassroots conservatives, has faced criticism for turning to Bush to boost his campaign. The former Florida governor badly failed in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination last year.

Thursday’s event was closed to the media, which a Boyd campaign spokeswoman reiterated in the hotel lobby when approached by a reporter and photographer for The Tennessee Star.  There did not appear to be any other journalists at the Omni. Several Boyd supporters and volunteers approached by The Star declined to be interviewed.

Earlier in the day, Bush spoke at a conference on education at the Omni, where U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos also spoke. The conference, which concludes today, was organized by the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd), an initiative founded by Bush that promotes school choice and other education reforms.

In the evening, Bush fans paid big bucks to mingle with him and Boyd and Boyd’s wife, Jenny, at the fundraiser. A photo reception cost $4,000 per person/couple. A general reception cost $1,000 per person/couple, and the dinner that followed cost $8,000 per person. While steep prices to ordinary Americans, they pale in comparison to money spent at fundraisers at the national level.

Boyd, a Knoxville businessman and former economic development commissioner under Gov. Bill Haslam, is one of five leading candidates for the Republican nomination in next year’s race for governor. His rivals U.S. Rep. Diane Black (R-TN-6) and former state senator Mae Beavers both slammed Boyd in October when Thursday’s fundraiser with Bush was announced, with Black drawing attention to similarities between Boyd and Bush, which she claimed included their criticism of President Trump and support for illegal immigrants and Common Core educational standards.

During last year’s presidential primary season, Boyd said supporting Trump “would be anathema to me.” However, once Trump was nominated, Boyd distanced himself from his earlier remarks. When asked on his Facebook page if he supports Trump, his campaign has responded that Boyd voted for Trump and “supports President Trump’s efforts to fix all that’s so badly broken in Washington.”

Boyd is a philanthropist who focuses especially on helping schools and entrepreneurs, including veterans who are entrepreneurs, but he raised eyebrows last year when he donated $250,000 to Conexión Américas, a Nashville nonprofit that promotes progressive immigration policies and has ties to La Raza.

Boyd has spoken out against sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants, telling the audience at a Republican gubernatorial forum in Rutherford County in May that “no city in Tennessee will be a sanctuary city under my watch.” The next month, he released a statement about sanctuary city policies being considered by Nashville’s Metro Council, saying, “Sanctuary cities are illegal. Washington has made a complete mess of our immigration system. But here in Tennessee, we will follow the law – and must say no to illegal immigration and sanctuary cities.”

For his part, Bush has spoken out in support of giving legal status to recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program who were brought illegally to the U.S. as children. On his Facebook page Sept. 1, Bush wrote:

I believe President Obama’s immigration executive orders were unconstitutional, but it would also be unconscionable to repeal DACA without ensuring Congress provides a legislative solution. Congress must act urgently to provide Dreamers certainty, through the BRIDGE Act and other legislative options that provide a path to legal status for children brought to the United States illegally.




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10 Thoughts to “Randy Boyd Fundraiser With Jeb Bush Closed to the Public, $4,000 Bought a Picture With Both”

  1. […] money and power runs the state.  As a wealthy businessman, Boyd spent millions on this race.  He supported Jeb Bush for President in 2016. Boyd said, “Supporting Trump would be anathema to me.”  He called on Jeb for support in the […]

  2. […] He supported Jeb Bush for President in 2016. Boyd said, “Supporting Trump would be anathema to me.”  He called on Jeb for support in the TN Governor primary. Boyd  is still listed as serving on Obama’s College Promise Campaign board which is working to make state community college scholarships like Haslam’s Tennessee Promise, available to illegal immigrant students. […]

  3. […] once Trump was nominated, Boyd distanced himself from his earlier remarks,” as The Star reported […]

  4. Ralph

    I find it interesting the Mr. Boyd not only outsourced the manufacturing of his company’s products to China shortly after forming the business, but later opened up an engineering and design center of excellence there.

    Economic development all right….for Communist China so that he can pocket the profits. Tennessee deserves better.

  5. Dave Vance

    The Amnesty Bush and a La Raza Plant ! We dont need either one in Tennessee!

  6. Wolf Woman

    La Raza Randy is a waste of time and money. He’s consistently on the wrong side of most issues and doesn’t represent the majority of Tennesseans. For instance, RockyTopPolitics noticed where he stood on the UTK hiring of Greg Schiano, who was involved in the Jerry Sandusky Penn State sexual abuse scandal:

    “And we would be remiss if we did not mention that 4 of the 5 Republican governor candidates issued releases last Sunday condemning the proposed hiring of Schiano. One GOP candidate did not — Randy Boyd. The same Randy Boyd who is the business partner of — wait for it — Jimmy Haslam. See a pattern here? Maybe Chip should tell Randy that checking your manhood at the door because the Haslams want you too is not a particularly good way to instill confidence in your ability to lead Tennessee as governor, especially the 100,000 voters who regularly show up at Neyland Stadium.”

  7. 83ragtop50

    Gosh, I wish I could have made it but I had something more important to do. I needed to wash the dishes.

  8. Sim

    Looks like the swamp is trying to move into Tennessee.

  9. Jim Forsythe

    Two losers!