Republican candidate for governor, Randy Boyd, (left) and Johnson County Mayor Larry Potter

By Paula Walter

Republican Randy Boyd is running to serve as the 50th governor of the State of Tennessee in the 2018 election. According to Boyd, he is running to make Tennessee the State of Opportunity, focusing on improved educations, better jobs and opportunities for Tennesseans, regardless of whether they live in rural or urban areas.
”I’m an entrepreneur and businessman,” said Boyd. “At 31, my wife Jenny and I sunk our entire life savings into starting a pet supplies company, Radio Systems Corporation. Radio Systems now employees 700 people worldwide and makes nearly 5,000 pet products, under brands including Invisible Fence and SportDog. Jenny and I also own the Tennessee Smokies Baseball Team, the AA affiliate to the Chicago Cubs and the Johnson City Cardinals, a minor league affiliate to the St. Louis Cardinals.”
According to Boyd, his biggest motivation to run for governor of Tennessee was to complete work started under Governor Haslam, including more jobs and industry to the state. This includes providing adults with the skills necessary to earn more money, as well as compete for jobs in the future. “…and most importantly, here in Johnson County, making sure our rural communities are enjoying the same success and opportunities as other areas of the state,” Boyd stated. “No one will be more committed to expanding opportunities in Johnson County and to this part of the state than I will be.”
While Boyd has not previously been a professional politician, he has worked under Governor Haslam, including working as an unpaid advisor on higher education. ”During that time I helped create the Drive to 55 workforce development initiative, as well as the tnPromise and tnAchieves scholarship programs that help more young people go to college,” said Boyd. “I also served as the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development that created a record 50,000 new jobs in Tennessee and $11 billion invested in our state’s economy.“
According to Boyd, he believes Tennessee must complete the Drive to 55, a goal that 55 percent of those living in Tennessee will earn a college degree or a certificate once they have completed high school to help prepare for jobs of the future. “This will mean expanding our TCAT and community college offerings,” said Boyd. “Currently, students in Johnson County must travel to Elizabethton or Blountville to reap the benefits of community and technical college opportunities we’ve worked so hard to expand. They deserve a localized opportunity right here in their community.”
According to Boyd, he wants to make Tennessee the number one state in the Southeast for high quality job. This includes removing obstacles that restrict small businesses. “Small businesses are the backbone of the Tennessee economy and must be allowed to continue making strides,” he added.
According to Boyd, he would like there to be no distressed counties in Tennessee by the year 2025. “Distressed counties are areas that the federal government has deemed in the bottom ten percent in poverty, income, and unemployment,” he stated. “Too many of our rural communities are distressed or at risk, including Johnson County. As governor, we’re going to double-down and triple down to make sure that all areas are sharing in Tennessee’s success.”