TENNESSEE | TN-gov

Pence Switches Black Donation to Gubernatorial Campaign

A poll showed the Republican, who recently detailed experiencing sexual harassment, as the best known candidate.

Zach C. Cohen
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Zach C. Cohen
Dec. 14, 2017, 11:11 a.m.

Rep. Diane Black (R) announced Tuesday that Vice President Pence’s Great America Committee gave her gubernatorial campaign $4,000. The campaign also released a letter from Pence praising her “steadfast support, your principled, leadership, and your strong stand with our administration.” (release)

Black spokesman Chris Hartline said Great America Committee never contributed $5,400 to Black’s congressional campaign as announced last month. Great America Committee did not return a request for comment.

Hartline: “My understanding is that they originally cut a check to the congressional campaign but realized their mistake and then re-cut a check to the [gubernatorial] campaign.”

Individuals and organizations not filed with the state are are limited to giving $4,000 for statewide candidates’ primary campaigns, according to Tennessee Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance Executive Director Drew Rawlins.

Both of Black’s committees are required to report fourth-quarter donations in January. (Hotline reporting)

SPEAKING OUT. Black wrote an op-ed detailing the sexual harassment she experienced in the state House, which had “a ‘good ol’ boy’ culture.”

“One member always seemed to manage to get on the elevator with me, and proceed to back up until I was against the wall and he was pressed against me. I learned fairly quickly to cross my arms with my elbows out so they dug into his back. Another member rarely called me by name and addressed me only as ‘Nurse Goodbody.’ It was objectifying, disrespectful and highly inappropriate for any work setting. … There is no place in the public or private sector for sexual harassment or assault. Period.” (Townhall)

BY THE NUMBERS. According to a Vanderbilt University poll (Nov. 16-Dec. 5; 1,013 RVs; +/- 3.7 percent) released Thursday found Black had the most name recognition (59 percent) of all of the candidates. Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean (D) had 41 percent name recognition, followed by state House Speaker Beth Harwell (R) at 40 percent, former state economic commissioner Randy Boyd (R) at 33 percent, former state Sen. Mae Beavers (R) at 28 percent, housing services executive Bill Lee (R) at 14 percent, and state House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh (D) at 10 percent.

Term-limited Gov. Bill Haslam (R) had a 63 percent approval rating. President Trump’s was 48 percent. (release)

Black and Dean performed best in a new Gravis Marketing (IVR + online) poll (Dec. 11-12; 563 RVs; +/-4.1 percent). The Republicans beat all of the Democrats in hypothetical match-ups with the exception of Dean’s lead against Beavers.

Black vs. Dean: 40-31 percent
Harwell vs. Dean: 38-33 percent
Dean vs. Beavers: 37-32 percent
Boyd vs. Dean: 38-35 percent
Black vs. Fitzhugh: 42-27 percent
Harwell vs. Fitzhugh: 44-24 percent
Beavers vs. Fitzhugh: 36-29 percent
Boyd vs. Fitzhugh: 39-30 percent

“Approval ratings in the state show Republicans above water with … Haslam at 39%-32%. Donald Trump is considerably more popular in Tennessee than he is nationwide with a 52%-41% approval split.” (release)

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