In the weeks after he lost the Republican nomination for governor and before he was appointed interim president of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd gave $85,000 to a new fundraising group, which has been disbursing funds to several Republicans around the state.
Boyd gave the money to the Growth and Opportunity PAC in two installments on Sept. 14 and Sept. 18, the only two donations to the group as of Oct. 1. The fundraising organization was established on Sept. 12, with Knoxville attorney Culver Schmid as its registered agent, according to state records.
On the same day as Boyd’s second contribution, the group made $1,500 donations to Republican state legislators Michael Curcio, Steve Dickerson, Ron Gant, Edward Jackson, Bill Sanderson and Ron Travis, plus a $3,000 donation to Martin Daniel and another $1,500 to Brent Moody, the Republican running to succeed retiring Speaker Beth Harwell in her Nashville-area district.
Though Boyd appeared at a unity rally alongside Republican gubernatorial nominee Bill Lee after his second-place finish in the primary, Boyd does not appear to have contributed any of his personal fortune to the party’s nominee.
The PAC had more than $71,000 on hand at the end of the third quarter reporting period.
Boyd is set to assume the UT presidency on Nov. 22, following Joe DiPietro’s last day in office.
UPDATE: After publication, Boyd sent along the following note:
"As you may know, I have been an active donor and supporter of candidates and causes throughout the years - so after my gubernatorial campaign, but before I was selected as interim UT President, I set up the PAC as an easier way to continue my contributions to candidates who are committed to the same things I care most about - education, job creation, and rural development. However, immediately upon my selection as interim president, and throughout my entire service at UT, this PAC will remain inactive and will not make any additional contributions to avoid any possible conflicts of interest."