Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd has been one of Governor Bill Haslam's most trusted advisers. Now, Boyd wants to follow in Haslam’s footsteps all the way to the state Capitol.
Boyd was the state’s economic and community development commissioner under Haslam. Before that, he was a special adviser on Haslam’s Drive to 55 effort to get more Tennesseans into college and technical schools.
For the last in a series of conversations with the leading candidates for governor, Nashville Public Radio's Chas Sisk sat down with Boyd to talk about what he’d do differently than Haslam and some of the questions that have arisen during the campaign.
Listen to the conversation above, or read interview hightlights below.
On why he sees himself as the heir to Gov. Haslam's agenda:
"There was a lot of stuff left to do. I was afraid we weren't going to get them done during his tenure, so I decided to put myself out there, run for governor, so I could put an extra four or eight years to those projects."
"So those things will be a continuation, but we're different people. He's a great businessperson. I'm an entrepreneur. By definition, entrepreneurs tend to be more disruptive, and so I think I’ll probably have a different personality. Not saying that one’s bad or good. Just that we are different people and I’ll come about it with a different approach."
On how to get more people into post-secondary education:
"One of the challenges I've seen across the state, is they're not always accessible. When you go to Grundy County or Johnson County or Hancock County or so many that I could mention, there's not a school within an hour's drive."
"And the interesting thing is, the number one reason why they don't go? This is true in Memphis; it's true in Johnson County. It's transportation. So we need to alleviate the transportation barrier."
On whether his campaign contributes to anti-immigrant prejudice:
"No, I don't think so. I think this is something the people of Tennessee are very concerned about, and one of the things they want to know is that all the candidates that they were thinking of supporting agree with them on enforcing our immigration laws. So it's important for us to make sure that we reassure them that we feel as they do."
"If you’re here legally and you’re an immigrant, I would say I’m very much pro-immigration. But legal immigration."