The Tennessee State Employees Association’s PAC has endorsed Beth Harwell and Craig Fitzhugh in their parties’ gubernatorial primary races, the Times Free Press reported.
Harwell is the state House Speaker. Fitzhugh is the state House Minority Leader.
“This was a lengthy endorsement process, including written and in-person interviews,” said Pat Bowman, chair of the Tennessee Employees Action Movement PAC, in a statement. “In the end, I am pleased with the candidates we’ve endorsed.”
The PAC tried to interview all major candidates in both parties. They heard back from Harwell, Fitzhugh and Republicans Randy Boyd and Bill Lee, and Democrat Karl Dean.
The only candidate who didn’t respond to the questionnaire or agree to an interview was U.S. Rep. Diane Black, a Republican. Lee filled out the questionnaire but was not interviewed.
State employees wanted to learn candidates’ views on issues including the outsourcing of government services to for-profit companies and whether candidates would commit to “insourcing” using state workers. Other issues included “failures” of TNReady tests and raises for state workers.
Fitzhugh’s and Harwell’s campaigns provided statements expressing their gratitude, The Tennessee Journal’s Humphrey on the Hill reported.
Fitzhugh’s campaign said, in part, “It’s a true honor to receive the endorsement of hardworking women and men who have dedicated their lives serving the people of Tennessee.”
Harwell’s campaign said, in part, “I am so honored and grateful to receive the endorsement of the TSEA. I enjoyed the endorsement process and the opportunity to interact with TSEA.”
The candidates’ full statements are available on The Tennessee Journal here.