Tennessee Governor Candidate Interviews: What Diane Black Chooses To Emphasize In Her Campaign | Nashville Public Radio

Tennessee Governor Candidate Interviews: What Diane Black Chooses To Emphasize In Her Campaign

Jul 17, 2018

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.

Listen to the conversation above, or read interview highlights below. 

Interview Highlights

On the possibility of being the first female governor:

"I don't think that this is a decision that someone will make on gender. You know, what I tell young women is, rather than just worrying about your gender, what I want you to be is the smartest person in the room. And if you are, you're always going to rise to the top. Yes, I will be proud to be the first female but I'm not campaigning on that. I'm campaigning on my knowledge and my background and my experience."

On her support for the Fitzgerald glider kits company, whose executives also donated to her campaign:

"This had nothing to do with my campaign. ... They're in my community, they're in my district and I represented them. Now, running for governor, they donated to my campaign, as other people have donated to my campaign. It wasn't because of what I did. There's no quid pro quo there. I was working for them and doing things for them — and not just for them but for all the small truckers."

On her campaign message against illegal immigration:

"I do not believe we should be giving education or in-state tuition to those that are here illegally. Look, there is a legal process to come into this country, and I'm a compassionate person. We're compassionate people. But I want people who come here the right way, so we can vet them. ... I like having people with diverse backgrounds and coming from different countries — but they come here legally. ... Congratulations. You are a part of us."