Boyd Aims to Focus on Jobs, Education as Governor

AUTHOR: Reed Johnson
SOURCE: The Herald-News

The campaign for the 2018 Tennessee governor’s race is in full swing, and on Wednesday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd stopped in Dayton to meet with local leaders, officials and media.

Boyd is a business-owner who graduated from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and previously served as the commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development under current Gov. Bill Haslam.

On Wednesday, Boyd said he hopes to focus on jobs, education and combating the state’s opioid epidemic as governor.

 “The reason I want to be governor is that I want to make Tennessee the state of opportunity — opportunity for a better education, opportunity for better jobs,” he said.

With the groundbreaking of the Nokian Tyres plant on Wednesday, Boyd used the company as an example of what types of education he aims to highlight as governor.

“Where the priority is and where the gap is most acute is technical education, the kind of jobs that Nokian is going to be trying to fill, people that know welding and electronics and those types of high-tech skills that advanced manufacturers need,” Boyd said.

In addition to focusing on jobs and education, Boyd recently released a plan to fight illicit opioid usage in the state. Among his first acts, he said, would be to declare and temporary state of emergency and appoint a temporary “chief epidemic officer.

“As Governor, and if we remain at crisis level, I will issue an immediate Executive Order declaring the opioid epidemic a State of Emergency, unleashing the full power and increased resources of state government to begin beating back the spread of addiction from these drugs,” Boyd said. “I will appoint a temporary cabinet-level position to help me get the job done. This position will be held accountable and report directly to me as governor and he/she will be provided with the authority, flexibility and resources to attack this plague on every front.”

To additionally combat illicit opioid usage, Boyd said he will also encourage greater drug awareness education, expand drug recovery courts aimed to rehabilitate and increase the number of drug disposal sites across the state. 

The state’s gubernatorial race will kick into high gear as the election in 2018 approaches. State primaries are slated for August 2018, while the state general election will take place in November 2018.