Randy Boyd, Knoxville businessman and former commissioner of Tennessee's Department of Economic and Community Development, announced Monday he will run for governor in 2018.
Boyd said that Tennessee is a great place to live and work, but not everyone sees the same success.
"My campaign will be about expanding opportunities for every Tennessee family and community: the opportunity for a better education—the opportunity for better jobs—and a better opportunity for everyone, regardless of where you live, whether you’re from rural Tennessee, the inner city or somewhere in between," he said in a prepared statement. "That’s how I’ve tried to serve in the past, and that is my vision for an even greater, more successful Tennessee."
Last month, former Nashville mayor Karl Dean, a Democrat, announced he will also seek the governorship.
Boyd, a lifelong Republican and a seventh-generation Tennessean, was raised in Knoxville but has deep roots in rural West Tennessee.
Boyd said he’s built his business, given back to the community and worked to develop initiatives such as Tennessee Promise, and also taken a conservative, results-oriented approach to improving the lives of Tennesseans.
"[My wife] and I are excited to launch this new adventure," he also said in a prepared statement. "I’m not a professional politician. My background is growing a small business .... While working in Nashville, I traveled to all 95 counties to make sure I was listening to and in touch with what was on the minds of my neighbors. So the early days of this campaign will be a continuation of that listening and learning process, and I could not be more excited about getting started."
Boyd is the founder and chairman of Radio Systems Corp., headquartered in Knoxville, with more than 700 employees worldwide and offices in seven countries.
First started out of the back of Boyd’s van, the company today produces over 4,600 pet products under brand names such as Invisible Fence, PetSafe and SportDOG. It is a privately held corporation with revenues approaching $400 million. Boyd is also owner of Boyd Sports LLC, which manages the Tennessee Smokies baseball team.
Boyd and his wife, Jenny, have been married for 32 years and have two children, Harrison and Thomas; a daughter-in-law, Lindsey; and a beloved dog, Oskar. They reside in Knoxville and are members of Erin Presbyterian Church.
For more information about Boyd and his campaign for governor, click here.