Former Tennessee economic development commissioner Randy Boyd has been securing endorsements from county mayors in his bid for governor. And on Wednesday he locked down support in the state's most populous county.
Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell is one of two-dozen Republican mayors that have come out for Boyd, which is one way that Boyd's experience headlining job-creation announcements across the state is paying off in his first run for public office.
But Mayor Luttrell says his backing goes deeper than a thank you for economic development projects in recent years. Luttrell says he appreciates Boyd's passion for education and workforce development, given his leadership in the state's free community college program called Tennessee Promise.
Shelby County, while solidly Democratic, will still play an outsized role in the race for governor, representing 10 percent of the expected voters.
Montgomery County's mayor is also backing Randy Boyd, but most of the support is coming from East Tennessee, where he lives. The best-known Republican in the race only announced her candidacy last week, but House Speaker Beth Harwell is expected to get most of the endorsements from state legislators. Congressman Diane Black of Gallatin has not yet made public whether she will run.