NASHVILLE, Tenn. (NEXSTAR) – All of the seven major candidates for Tennessee governor showed up in one way or another for what was likened to a “job interview” by the Tennessee Business Roundtable Tuesday in Nashville.
It was one of the first times that all seven had appeared before the same group, although each was on stage individually instead of together.
The two major Democrats in the race led off the order, which was said to be determined by the candidates morning schedule.
Former Nashville mayor Karl Dean told the business leaders that “Tennesseans want a governor who is a moderate. Someone who is pragmatic and has common sense.”
Republican Beth Harwell spoke of things she’s been a part of during her years as Tennessee House Speaker.
“One of the things I am most proud of is in Tennessee is that we have a limited government,” she told the group. “We take it for granted…but we have a balanced budget every year.”
Republican congressional member Diane Black made her pitch on video from Washington, D.C.
“Someone has to bring some sanity to this town,” she said on the taped segment. “Soon the house will be voting on my budget, which is a product i am incredibly proud of.”
Republican Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd stressed his economic background.
“I think its important that the next governor knows something about being an entrepeneur, being innovative, making a payroll and running an organization,” said Boyd.
Mae Beavers told the group what small business owners are telling her.
“There is a lot of unnecessary regulations that we need to get rid of so we can operate in the state of Tennessee,” said the former state senator.
Tennessee House Democrat leader Craig Fitzhugh talked of fairness.
“I want an economy and business arena…that works for everyone in this state,” he said.
Republican businessman Bill Lee spoke of service.
“The responsibility we have as civic and business leaders…is to impact the people,” said Lee in his opening remarks.