Why I’m Running

I have a vision for our state, and it’s to make Tennessee known around the world as THE State of Opportunity. Opportunity for a better education, opportunity for a better job and opportunity for everyone, regardless of whether you’re from the inner city or rural Tennessee.

Opportunity for a Better Education

To provide opportunity for a better education, we need to ensure every Tennessean has the opportunity to get the education they need for jobs now and in the future.

For our state to be successful, we must achieve our mission of the Drive to 55, meaning 55% of the population has some credential past high school by the year 2025. We are only at 39% now, so we have a lot of work ahead of us.

I had the honor of creating the Tennessee Promise with Governor Haslam’s team in 2014. The Tennessee Promise guarantees free community college for every high school graduate in Tennessee. While Tennessee Promise is the envy of the country and has sent 33,000 students to college, there is still much more to be done.

Across our state, companies are desperate for skilled workers and tens of thousands of jobs go unfilled. We need to make sure we provide an opportunity for every student to be successful. For some, it is to make sure they are ready for college when they graduate from high school and can avoid taking remedial classes on subjects they should have already mastered. For others, it will be to ensure they are prepared to go to a technical or community college and get skills in things like welding and mechatronics that lead to high-quality, high-paying and high-demand jobs across our state. And for others still, they need to have opportunity in career and technical education to get the great skills they need to get good jobs when they leave.

Opportunity for a Better Job

To provide opportunity for a better job, we need to continue to not only develop our workforce, but we must ensure our communities are job-ready. In some cases, that means investing in site development proactively, ensuring we have locations to attract businesses. And we have to ensure that we have a healthy, drug-free workforce, too.

As every business owner knows, your best return on investment is taking care of the customers you already have, and we need to continue to support companies that are already in Tennessee. But, we have the highest business taxes in the Southeast, and not only does that hurt us in our efforts to attract new business, it also makes it hard on existing businesses to grow, and stay, in Tennessee.

Opportunity for Entrepreneurs

To provide opportunity for entrepreneurs, we have to be the best state in the country for business. We have to reduce restrictions, regulations and red tape.

Sometimes, the way government helps the most is when it just gets out of the way.

I started my own company that now has over 700 employees. While I served as Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, companies committed to create 50,000 new jobs and $11 billion in capital investment. I know a little about creating jobs and growing an economy, but we still have much work to do. We are fourth in the Southeast for high quality jobs, and we want to be first, and we can be.

Opportunity for All

To provide opportunity for everyone, we must make sure people in our inner cities and our rural communities aren’t getting left behind. Sadly, they are today.

By nearly every statewide measure, we’re living in the best time in our state’s history, but it’s not for everyone. In fact, 15 of our 95 counties are classified as distressed, meaning they are in the bottom 10% in the country in poverty, income and unemployment.

I firmly believe you are only as rich as your poorest neighbor, and we have some neighbors who are struggling. While I served as Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, I started and led the Rural Task, and we made some strong first steps, but the job is far from done.

If I am elected, we will double down, and then triple down, and then whatever comes after that until no community is left behind.

We are only successful when we are successful together.

If we can achieve our goal of 55%, if we can become number one in the Southeast for high-quality jobs and if we can offer a hand up to our struggling neighbors so there are no more distressed counties in our state, then I think we can say we are well on our way to being THE State of Opportunity!

You might say the Drive to 55 is our “moonshot,” like being the first country to the moon in the 60s. When I think of our vision to be THE State of Opportunity, there is no rocket science at all. It’s really just a decision of will. If we decide to go, there is nothing that can stop us.

When 6.6 million Tennesseans come together to accomplish something, we can achieve anything. And we will.

Please join me. We can do this, together.

Thank you,
Randy Boyd


Sign Up for Updates

Endorse Randy

Get Involved

Make a Donation