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.

Emily Siner / WPLN (File photo)

Technical colleges could get a big boost under Tennessee's next governor.

Many of the top candidates are pledging to increase funding for the state's tech schools. They say putting more money into those institutions is the best way to close Tennessee's so-called skills gap.

U.S. Department of Education via Flickr

The two Democrats vying to be Tennessee's next governor made another pitch Tuesday to expand pre-K education.

That's even though recent research from Vanderbilt University has led some communities, including Nashville, to hit pause on expansion plans.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Republican Mae Beavers says she's stepping down after 14 years in the state Senate to focus on her run for governor.

The Mt. Juliet lawmaker made the announcement at a Wednesday afternoon press conference, saying she couldn't continue to represent her district east of Nashville while simultaneously campaigning statewide. Beavers also used the occasion to take a few digs at her rivals and the Republican governor she aims to replace, whom she implied is too liberal.

TN Photo Services (file)

One of the richest and most recognizable Republican names floating around next year’s gubernatorial race has officially entered.

Diane Black made a Facebook post around 3 a.m. Wednesday, marking the U.S. representative’s long anticipated arrival into an already crowded GOP field.

Black enters the race as the favorite to win the Republican nomination. She's better-known statewide than any other candidate, she's personally wealthy and she's an experienced fundraiser, so she might convince some people in the race to drop out.

TN Photo Services (file)

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.

Chas Sisk / WPLN (File photo)

A political scientist at Middle Tennessee State University is predicting next year's race for governor could go down in the books as the state's most expensive race ever.

Kent Syler, an instructor at MTSU and former campaign manager to U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon, says the battle to succeed Gov. Bill Haslam should easily eclipse the $20 million he spent to win the office in 2010 and is likely to surpass the state record $34 million that went into the 2006 Senate campaigns of Bob Corker and Harold Ford, Jr.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN (File photo)

Tennessee’s Speaker of the House Beth Harwell announced this weekend that she is running for governor, widening the field and immediately setting off jockeying to succeed her.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

The prolonged debate in Congress over health care is having a ripple effect on Tennessee's race for governor, and it may be a few more weeks before the field for 2018 is set.

A key figure is Diane Black. The Congressional representative from Sumner County is a frontrunner for the Republican nomination for governor. But Black has work in Washington she wants to wrap up first, including a job that stems from a major position she holds — chair of the House Budget Committee.

courtesy Congressman Black via Twitter

Congressman Diane Black.

That's who Tennesseans say they're most familiar with as the race to succeed Governor Bill Haslam begins. Just under half of all voters say in a new statewide poll they've heard of her.

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