Boyd talks state matters at FWKCC Speaker Breakfast, then throws hat in ring for ’18
Farragut area resident Randy Boyd, entrepreneur and former Tennessee Economic Development Commissioner, announced his candidacy for governor of Tennessee just before noon Monday, March 6.
Boyd, a Republican, spoke to Farragut West Knox Chamber of Com-merce members only a few hours before about the successes and challenges of economic development in Tennessee during a Chamber Breakfast Speaker Series in Rothchild Catering & Conference Center.
However, he said Tuesday, March 7, he was not tempted to spill the beans about his decision to run for governor during his FWKCC address.
“No, I knew better. I would get in trouble with everyone who had worked so hard to organize the event,” he said. “I was sworn to secrecy until 11:30 [a.m.], so we were trying to do the best we could to keep it a secret.”
His run for the governor’s mansion, election is 2018, is Boyd’s first run for an elected political office. “I’m not a professional politician,” he said. “I’ve never run for office before. It’s not part of any career plan; it’s just all the things I care about I can do most effectively by being governor.”
Founder and owner of Radio Systems Corporation and owner of Tennessee Smokies Class AA baseball team, Boyd said he wants to make Tennessee known as “the” state of opportunity — for the best education and for the best jobs.
“And we want to be the state where there’s opportunity for everybody, not just opportunities in the big cities or certain places, but opportunity anywhere you choose to live,” Boyd added.
Boyd said he decided to run for governor because Gov. Bill Haslam showed him if a person really wants to make an impact in the world, the most effective way is through pubic service.
“The rest of my life is dedicated to giving back and I would like to do it the most effective way,” Boyd said. “This would be the most effective way to do it.”
Boyd said there are key program Haslam and himself put in motion while the aspiring governor was ECD commissioner, such as Drive to 55 — increasing the number of people with some type of community college certificate or degree — on which he wants to expand.
“Through my education efforts, I was able to create a program called the Tennessee Promise, so I think I can say I’m a proven leader that knows how to improve education and how to create jobs,” Boyd said. “If you’re passionate about education, if you’re passionate about getting better jobs, I might just be the person for you.”
He wants to follow through on a goal of being No. 1 in the Southeast for high-quality jobs and expand Rural Task Force, which he and Haslam created “to make sure all of our neighbors that are struggling can rise up out of their situation and be successful,” Boyd said.
Boyd said his experience as a businessman and as ECD commissioner will help him be a good governor.
“I understand how to get a team together to be successful. I’ve proven it in business and I’ve proven it as a special advisor in higher education, creating the Drive to 55 and the Tennessee Promise, and I’ve proven it as commissioner of ECD,” he said.
“I know how to create jobs,” Boyd added. “My company created over 700 jobs, and as commissioner of ECD, I was able to attract 50,000 new jobs to our state in the last two years and $11 billion in capital investment.”
Boyd and wife, Jenny Boyd, have two sons, Harris and Thomas.