Beavers blown away by GOP competitors in fundraising for governor’s race


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An overview of the candidates who have launched a campaign for governor.
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State senator and Republican gubernatorial candidate Mae Beavers raised just $36,000 from donors during the first month of her campaign, according to a disclosure report filed Monday.

The total donations pale in comparison to what other Republican candidates have raised in the early stages of the 2018 governor’s race.

The longtime lawmaker brought in donations from just over 40 sources, several of whom live in her Mt. Juliet district. 

More: Bill Lee to report $1.4M haul in GOP race for governor

More: Randy Boyd to report raising $2.3 million in GOP governor’s race

More: Karl Dean to report raising $1.2M in first stretch of Tennessee governor’s race

In addition to the donations, Beavers’ senate campaign committee made two donations, totaling $20,000 to her gubernatorial campaign, which launched in early June. 

Overall, Beavers’ largest single donation came from the Tennessee Firearms Association’s political action committee. The group gave her $11,800 on June 29, just before the end of the reporting period.

Notable contributions to Beavers’ campaign came from Mt. Juliet mayor Ed Hagerty, who donated $1,000, and a $250 contribution from Lou Ann Zelenik, who came in second in the Republican primary against Diane Black in 2010.

Albert McCall II, who is on the Tennessee Republican Party’s state executive committee, was one of three people to give Beavers $4,000.

Beavers’ disclosure report includes just two expenditures totaling $1,377. 

The latest report indicates what many had come to expect: that Beavers would be at a sizable fundraising disadvantage compared to her fellow Republican candidates. 

Entrepreneur and former state Economic and Community Development commissioner Randy Boyd raised $2.3 million from donors while Williamson County businessman Bill Lee brought in $1.4 million.

Former Nashville mayor and Democrat Karl Dean raised $1.2 million since launching his campaign.

Boyd, Lee and Dean’s disclosure reports have not been made publicly available. 

More: Amid protest, Sen. Mae Beavers formally announces bid for governor

House Speaker Beth Harwell, who launched her campaign over the weekend, will not be required to disclose any donations for her gubernatorial run because she entered the race after the reporting period ended. 

Tennessee’s 2018 race to replace Gov. Bill Haslam, who is term limited, is expected to be the most expensive election in state history.

Reach Joel Ebert at jebert@tennessean.com or 615-772-1681 and on Twitter @joelebert29.

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