Speaker of the House Beth Harwell said her first financial report will show more than $5 million cash-on- hand, with more than 1,000 individual Tennesseans contributing to her bid for governor since July.
Another Republican gubernatorial candidate, Bill Lee, said he has raised nearly $2.3 million for the 2017 reporting period, with over $900,000 in the second half of 2017. In addition to the amount raised, he and his wife Maria committed to match campaign donations dollar for dollar, ending the reporting period with over $3.7 million cash on hand.
Diane Black raised nearly $1.75 million between August and January, with more than 1,000 contributions from all 95 Tennessee counties.
Karl Dean for Governor announced that the Democrat's campaign brought in $1.45 million from July to mid-January.
“I am grateful to all of the Tennesseans across the state who have contributed to my campaign,” Speaker Harwell said.
“I pledge to be a good steward of their hard-earned money and gracious donations in this race for governor. We are positioned to be successful in getting our pro-conservative message out to Tennesseans statewide. This initial financial report is indicative of that goal, and I am excited about and proud of our efforts.”
David Ingram, treasurer of the Harwell campaign, said she is the most qualified candidate in the race for governor. “Speaker Harwell will be ready to go to work on Day One,” Ingram said. “She will be fiscally conservative as governor, just as she has been as Speaker of the House. She has balanced Tennessee’s budget every year, eliminated the gift and death taxes, kept the state the lowest debt state in the country, and cut nearly $1 billion in taxes.”
Bill Lee said, "It is truly humbling to see the overwhelming level of enthusiasm we have received,” said Lee. “Maria and I are grateful for the outpouring of support from across Tennessee from people willing to invest in our campaign.”
“It speaks volumes to see so many hard-working Tennesseans are willing to invest in Bill and his campaign,” said Stuart McWhorter, Lee Campaign Finance Chairman. “Bill, being a first-time candidate, is inspiring folks from across the state to join him in this run. He is the right person at the right time to lead our state, and it is great to see more and more Tennesseans joining his team.”
The latest fundraising numbers show the Dean campaign topped its contribution total from the first reporting period and doubled its number of contributions to close to 6,000, his staff said. The $1.45 million total includes a $200,000 donation from Mr. Dean and his wife Anne Davis.
The vast majority of online contributions -- 80 percent -- were under $100 with 48 percent coming from outside of Nashville, "proving that there is strong grassroots support growing across Tennessee."
“Something we hear all the time on the campaign trail is ‘Karl would make a great governor, but as a Democrat, can he be competitive when up against a Republican in the general election?’ Our latest fundraising totals show the definitive answer to that question is absolutely yes,” Courtney Wheeler, Campaign Manager, said. “People want a get-it-done governor -- not an ideologue -- who will focus on the issues that really matter to families: good public schools, jobs, and access to affordable healthcare. And that’s what Karl Dean is about.”
The campaign reports over $1.8 million cash on hand following a period that saw the opening of a Memphis office, adding of senior campaign staff, and statewide launch of the “Talking Jobs and Family” tour.
“We’re excited to see the momentum for Karl's candidacy continue to build,” Mr. Wheeler said.