As the heat intensifies in the Tennessee Republican Primary campaign for Governor House Speaker Beth Harwell has aired her first negative ad. In the Harwell ad each of her three opponents are depicted as bickering children while she’s the “adult” in the room. Harwell touts the fact that as Speaker she has balanced the budget, lowered taxes, outlawed sanctuary cities and reduced the size of government.
Beth Harwell “ADULT IN THE ROOM ad:
ANNCR: “You have a choice for Governor. Behind all the fighting and posturing Diane Black, Randy Boyd and Bill Lee only offer political promises.”
HARWELL: “I am the only candidate who offers proven results instead of political promises. Under my leadership as your Tennessee Speaker we’ve already balanced the budget and lowered your taxes. Already outlawed sanctuary cities and reduced the size of our state government.”
ANNCR: “Beth Harwell, the adult in the room.”
As Harwell’s critics have noted, EVERY Speaker has balanced the budget because it is required by law. And while some taxes were lowered as part of the IMPROVE Act, the tax cuts primarily went to big businesses while the fuel tax increase of over $300 million a year hits working families in Tennessee.
Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill notes that Bill Lee is the only candidate who has said he won’t go negative. “Harwell clearly understands that she has to bring down her opponents’ poll numbers in order for her to have any path to victory,” Gill says. “Her ad is cute and creative and will cut through the noise pretty effectively, but right now she is trailing all of the other three and has a lot of ground to make up with little time remaining.”