The Tri-Star State | Nashville Public Radio

The Tri-Star State

Chas Sisk / WPLN (File photo)

Karl Dean oversaw some big projects during his eight years as Nashville's mayor: a $600 million dollar convention center, a new minor league baseball park, an amphitheater by the Cumberland River.

They left a clear legacy. But they've also been sources of contention.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Williamson County businessman Bill Lee has never held political office. But he says running the home services company that bears his name is preparation enough to lead Tennessee's executive branch.

And after winning the Republican nomination for governor, Lee is just one step away from putting that theory to the test.

Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

The big story coming out of the primaries was the surprising victory of Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee. The Williamson County businessman seemed to surge late but the seeds of his win may have been sewn in some of the race’s earliest days.

Throughout the campaign, Lee portrayed himself as the upbeat outsider and let his opponents duke it out with attack ads.

Nashville Public Radio's Jason Moon Wilkins and Chas Sisk talk about that strategy — and why it seemed to work.

Chas Sisk / WPLN (File photo)

Republican businessman Bill Lee wasn't known to many Tennesseans before this year's race for governor. He'd been a major fundraiser for the GOP. But he'd never run for public office of any kind.

Lee touts that as a virtue.

In the latest in a series of interviews with the six leading candidates for governor, Lee sat down with WPLN's Chas Sisk.

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.

YouTube

Voting in Tennessee’s statewide primaries starts in less than two weeks, and that means the race is impossible to avoid without turning off the television. 

The ads may be short, but they’re where candidates spend most of their money and give insight into campaign strategy.

In the latest edition of The Tri-Star State, Nashville Public Radio's Blake Farmer and Chas Sisk talk about that ad blitz.

Diane Black for Governor via YouTube

President Donald Trump won't be on the ballot this fall, but he looms large over the races for Congress and governor.

Candidates can boost themselves with conservatives by standing close to Trump — sometimes literally. But no leader in recent history has been as polarizing as the president, so they risk alienating voters elsewhere on the political spectrum.

Pages