By Joe Rector

Randy Boyd is running for governor in Tennessee. Over the past few weeks, Randy has traveled from one end of the state to the other. He seems to be intent on making contact with as many folks as possible so that they remember his name for election day. I know Randy in a different way.

Randy was a student of mine at the old “Doyle” High School. I taught honors English for sophomores, and Randy sat right in the middle of the class. He was present each and every day and contributed to the class discussions on assigned literature. Randy also wrote clear, well-developed papers. No, he wasn’t perfect; his papers contained errors that I marked. However, Randy always accepted criticism as a way of improving his work.

Randy Boyd also played on the high school football team. I don’t recall whether he played offense or defense, but I know he committed himself to playing to the best of his ability. His grandfather attended his games, and I sat with him during them. We talked about Randy and his work ethic. No grandfather was ever prouder than Ted was.

I lost close contact with Randy after he graduated from high school, but no doubt ever existed that he would be anything but successful. Randy possessed a high intellect, and in addition to it, he had a curiosity about all things. He wanted to know what made them tick, and he studied to find them out.

His rise in the business world was no surprise. Randy’s dad had succeeded in his pursuits and ran FI-Shock, a business located in the Forks of the River industrial park. Randy put his creative mind and business acumen together to build what is today known as Radio Systems Corporation. The company employs between 500-1000 individuals. He also is the Chairman of Boyd Sports, which owns the Tennessee Smokies and Johnson City Cardinals baseball organizations.

Randy has a commitment to the Knoxville area, as well as to his business ventures. He is well-known for the contributions he has made to the Knoxville Zoo. Lesser known is his commitment to making college more affordable for areas graduates. Randy is the force behind tnAchieves. In conjunction with Tennessee Promise, it is a program that offers free tuition to graduating high school seniors. Yes, students are responsible for meeting some demands of the program, something that Randy believes is important. He always has taken on responsibilities for his own success and expects the same of those he strives to help.

Of late, Randy Boyd has worked with Gov. Haslam. He served as Commissioner of Economic and Community Development. The governor states that “without Randy Boyd, there would be no Tennessee Promise or Drive to 55 or comprehensive approach to job growth via a workforce development.”

Now Randy is running for the governor of Tennessee. He is imminently qualified for the position. He has a proven record in the business world and experience in government. He wants to help make the state a successful place where residents can find good jobs with steady incomes, as well as first-class educational systems that enable Tennessee students to be successful in college, vocational training, or other paths they choose.

I don’t often endorse GOP candidates. However, I’ve known Randy Boyd for many years. I’ve watched firsthand his commitment to projects and his acceptance of responsibility. Our state needs individuals that lead it and its citizens into the future with optimism. Randy Boyd fits that bill. I will pull the lever for him. I hope you will dive into his background and choose to do the same.