Tennessee's Next Governor | Nashville Public Radio

Tennessee's Next Governor

Early voting for the gubernatorial primaries starts Friday, July 13, and Election Day is Aug. 2. We've been asking the candidates about their stances on issues and how they're strategizing their campaigns. Scroll down to see the questions we've asked.

Courtesy of Karl Dean for Governor

Gubernatorial candidate Karl Dean is trying to present himself as a moderate. Not too business-centric for his base in the Democratic primaries, not too liberal to offend the Republican voters he'd need if he gets the nomination.

WPLN's Emily Siner spoke with the former mayor of Nashville about this delicate dance that would likely have to continue if he were elected governor.

Courtesy of Diane Black for Governor

The Republican gubernatorial candidate with the most name recognition is Congressman Diane Black, polls have shown. And if elected, she would be the first woman to hold the position of governor.

But that isn't what she talks about to voters. Instead, she touts close ties to President Trump and fierce opposition to illegal immigration.

WPLN's Emily Siner spoke with Black about what messages she's decided to emphasize in her campaign. And Emily talked through the conversation with her colleague Jason Moon Wilkins.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN (File photo)

Republican Beth Harwell has the most political experience of anyone running for Tennessee governor this year but she’s trailing in the polls and far behind in fundraising. We asked Harwell about how she plans to separate herself from the field of well-financed rivals in the GOP primary.

She spoke about her legislative experience with WPLN's Emily Siner, who talks about the conversation with her colleague Jason Moon Wilkins in this episode of The Tri-Star State.

Courtesy of Fitzhugh for Tennessee

Democrat Craig Fitzhugh has been a prominent figure in Tennessee politics for more than two decades, but the state has changed around him quite a bit. When he started as a state representative, he was in the majority. Now, he's running for governor in a state that votes overwhelmingly Republican.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN (File photo)

Only one Republican running to be Tennessee's next governor is open to the idea of allowing sports betting.

The question came up during a GOP debate in Hendersonville on Wednesday night. A recent federal court ruling paves the way for states to legalize gambling on college and professional games.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

The topic of abortion has begun to rise in prominence in the race for Tennessee governor.

Two candidates in particular — the Republicans Diane Black and Randy Boyd — are showcasing their positions on the issue in ads and mailers.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN (File photo)

A recurring theme over the past several years has been sparring between the Republican-controlled state legislature and Tennessee's more liberal big cities. They've staked out positions on issues like LGBT rights, living wages and immigration, only to have them undone by lawmakers.

Emily Siner / WPLN

President Donald Trump is scheduled to arrive in Nashville Tuesday afternoon, prompting road closures and heightened security around Municipal Auditorium, where the rally is to take place.

The event is being put together by Trump's political organization, and it seems to be aimed at bolstering Tennessee candidates — perhaps two in particular.

TN Photo Services

Narrowing the education gap will be one challenge facing whoever becomes Tennessee's next governor.

Students in the state are doing better in math and reading, but black and Hispanic students aren't improving as fast as their white counterparts.

Tony Gonzalez / WPLN (File photo)

About 315,000 people in the state are immigrants. That's works out to about one in 20 Tennesseans.

How other people feel about those newcomers has become one of the most polarizing questions among voters.

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