Republican gubernatorial debate canceled in Knoxville

Political News
Bill Lee Beth Harwell Randy Boyd Diane Black

The Sunday night debate for the leading GOP governor’s candidates in Knoxville has been canceled.  

The cancellation comes after Randy Boyd, Beth Harwell and Diane Black dropped out.  

In a statement from Harwell’s campaign, Beth Fortune told News 2, “We think it’s important that all four candidates be present. We really need four candidates to be present for our participation since it’s the last debate and it’s just a few days before August 2.”  

“Speaker Harwell has participated in many forums and debates over the past several months, and was committed to debating the important issues facing Tennessee one last time before the Aug. 2 Republican Primary, if all candidates participated. That no longer appears to be the case. If that should change, Speaker Harwell will gladly participate in the debate,” Fortune said. 

Lance Frizzell, senior advisor for Diane Black said, “Due to the withdrawal of the other two major candidates, our campaign will not be attending Sunday night’s debate.”

An advisor to the Lee campaign said, “When we committed to this series of debates several months ago, we were glad to see that all three Grand Divisions were represented and included. It is unfortunate that the East Tennessee debate in Knoxville is under threat of cancellation. Bill plans on being there no matter what on July 22. If the other candidates decide they would rather be elsewhere, we will hold a campaign rally near the debate site instead on the same day.” 

Boyd announced on Friday he was pulling out of the debate due to a “scheduling conflict.”

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