MT. JULIET – State Sen. Mae Beavers is exploring a bid for Tennessee governor.
The Republican lawmaker, who represents five Upper Cumberland counties, told Nashville’s WKRN-TV that she’s considering entering the race to succeed term-limited Gov. Bill Haslam.
Beavers told the TV station she’s received calls from supporters seeking “a conservative candidate” in the race but has not yet filed any official paperwork and is still in the very early stages of a potential campaign.
First elected to the State Senate in 2002, Beavers represents Wilson and Cannon, Clay, DeKalb, Macon and Smith counties.
Republicans Randy Boyd of Knoxville and former Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner and State Sen. Mark Green of Clarksville have already officially declared, while State House Speaker Beth Harwell of Nashville and U.S. Rep. Diane Black are said to be considering campaigns. But Green is being considered for the Secretary of the Army appointment by President Donald Trump, and that could help fuel a run by Beavers, she has said.
For the Democrats, former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean is the only formally declared candidate; he paid a visit to Fentress County earlier this week. Democratic House Leader Craig Fitzhugh is also considering a run.