Bill Lee

Gov.-elect Bill Lee announces transition team

Gov.-elect Bill Lee speaks at a press conference at the state Capitol in Nashville on Nov. 7, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

A release from Gov.-elect Bill Lee:

FRANKLIN, Tenn.Today, Tennessee Governor-elect Bill Lee announced several key leadership positions for his Transition Team and Inaugural Committee. The announcement comes a day after the launch of a new transition website – transition.billlee.com – which seeks to engage Tennesseans to help share ideas to help take our state from good to great.

 

“Now that the campaign is over, it is time to get to work,” said Lee. “I’ve said throughout the campaign that I’m looking for talented individuals who can help Tennessee thrive, and I’m honored that these individuals are dedicating themselves to helping move Tennessee to a place where we can lead the nation.”

 

Key personnel for Bill’s transition are working to advise Governor-elect Lee on decisions for his cabinet and senior leadership team for his incoming administration. The transition will work with Tennesseans across the state, ensuring that a wide range of opinions and regions are represented and included.

 

“I want to ensure that Tennesseans know that this is their government, and so, I want to hear their ideas on how we all can help Tennessee lead the nation,” Lee continued.

 

The Transition’s Senior Leadership Team includes:

Butch Eley – Chairman

Blake Harris – Executive Director

Chris Devaney – Deputy Director and Legislative Liaison

Laine Arnold – Press Secretary

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Reaction to Bill Lee’s victory in governor’s race

Tennesseans have made a great choice for our next governor. Bill Lee is a man with strong character and love for our state and will make the right decisions to keep Tennessee  moving forward. I am excited to see what this state will accomplish under his leadership. — Term-limited Gov. Bill Haslam.

After watching how Bill connects with people and inspires our citizens, I am convinced he is the perfect person to lead our state at this moment. We are in strong position as a state but there is more left to do. Bill is an executive and CEO who is just as comfortable on a farm or factory floor as he is in a boardroom. — Senate Speaker Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge).

Lee says he didn’t authorize mailer for Rep. David Byrd

Republican gubernatorial candidate appears in a state GOP mailer supporting controversial Rep. David Byrd of Waynesboro. Only problem is that Lee says he didn’t authorize it.

Lee was asked about the mailer in Williamson County on Tuesday, and said he did not know whether the photo was taken before or after sexual misconduct allegations were made public about Byrd. Two women said Byrd touched them inappropriately when he was their 28-year-old basketball coach, and a third said he tried to.

“I haven’t seen that picture, so I don’t know, and we didn’t authorize the use of that,” Lee said.

House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) and Senate Speaker Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) called for Byrd’s resignation, but he is seeking re-election this year.

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A “good to great” flashback for Dean?

When Karl Dean first ran for Nashville mayor in 2007, rival Bob Clement ran TV ads espousing his plan for taking the city “from good to great.” If that sounds familiar, it’s because Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee is making a similar pitch in this year’s governor’s race again Dean.

The idea is pulled from a 2001 management book by Michael C. Collins called Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … and Other’s Don’t. Lee likes to talk about the concept of taking Tennessee from good to great on the campaign trail (and as he tries to avoid criticizing the achievements of term limited Gov. Bill Haslam, a fellow Republican.

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Lee in new ad: ‘You’ve got a pretty clear choice’

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee in a new ad calls his Democratic opponent Karl Dean “a good man,” but says the election gives voters a “pretty clear choice.”

Lee’s ad comes as Dean has ratcheted up his criticism of the Republican’s positions (such as supporting school vouchers and permitless gun carry) as “extreme.”

Here’s a transcript of what Lee says in the ad:

Well this race is almost over, and you’ve got a pretty clear choice. My opponent is a good man. A public servant. My background’s a little different. I’m an outsider, a farmer, a businessman, chairman of a company with 1,200 employees. Tennessee is a wonderful place, but we’ve got some big challenges, and the next four years, we need a governor who can lead us from good to great. If you agree, I’d sure appreciate your vote.

New Dean ad (produced pre-Pittsburgh) takes on mass shootings

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Karl Dean discusses mass shootings and his opposition to arming teachers and getting rid of permit requirements to carry handguns in public. The ad was filmed before the fatal shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, which the campaign said illustrated once again how “families and communities can be shattered by senseless gun violence.”

“After every mass shooting, my thoughts go to my kids and my wife, Anne, and how devastating this would be for any family,” Dean says in the ad. He goes on to say:

I’m Karl Dean, and we can respect the right to bear arms while protecting our families. But Bill Lee supports concealed carry without a permit, making it hard to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill, and he’d let teachers bring guns into the classroom. I’m against permitless carry and arming teachers. It’s a real difference with life-changing consequences.

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Dean in new ad calls Lee’s positions ‘extreme’

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Karl Dean has a new ad out that labels Republican Bill Lee’s views as ‘extreme’ on guns, vouchers, and Medicaid expansion.

Here’s the release from the Dean campaign:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Gubernatorial candidate Karl Dean will start airing a TV ad Saturday comparing his common-sense vision of a compassionate, forward-looking Tennessee with opponent Bill Lee’s extreme, ideological policies.
Titled “Would You Want,” the ad helps voters understand the stark choice they face in the Nov. 6 election for governor, with early voting now underway through Nov. 1.
“Would you want a governor who would give public school funds to private schools? Or arm teachers and allow guns in classrooms? Or deny healthcare to hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans and let our tax dollars fund healthcare in other states?” Dean says, speaking directly to the camera throughout the 30-second spot.
“I’m Karl Dean, and that’s the choice in this election. Bill Lee believes all of that; I don’t. I’m not the flashiest guy running, but we don’t need an extreme governor who would take us backward. Let’s keep Tennessee moving forward.”

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Mandatory shop class? Lee proposes vocational training for all students

After Republican Bill Lee’s previous ad touting “20-year solutions” for education and health care became the target of Democratic rival Karl Dean, the Franklin businessman has released a new spot offering some more specifics: He appears to want to require vocational training for all students in Tennessee.

“Every student should have at least some vocational training. It might mean welding. It might mean coding. It might mean ag,” Lee says in the ad. “But we’ve got to start our kids out early. High school, middle school.”

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Lee, Dean prepare for second of three debates

Bill Lee speaks at a unity press conference in Nashville on Aug. 4, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican Bill Lee and Democrat Karl Dean are headed into their second of three debates in Kingsport on Tuesday evening.

Andy Sher of the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that the pressure is on Dean.

“If you look at the polling, Karl Dean needs to do something in these debates to change the direction of the race,” said Kent Syler, an assistant professor of political science at Middle Tennessee State University.

Syler said he looks for Dean “to be aggressive and work to find issues that differentiate him from Bill Lee and also score points with voters.”

The Tennessean’s Joel Ebert reports that Dean “didn’t clearly dominate the first of three gubernatorial debates” in Memphis las week, and that the former Nashville mayor has been zeroing in on Medicaid expansion.

“Dean’s polling must be showing it’s having some effect because he continues to talk about it and hammer on it,” said John Geer, a Vanderbilt University political science professor.

“There’s still probably a bit of an edge for Dean on this issue — whether it’s enough to transform the race that’s a much bigger and more difficult question to answer.”

Dean was in Jackson on Monday touting his support for broadband, health care and the Memphis Regional Megasite, reports the Jackson Sun’s Adam Friedman:

“My three priorities are public education, public safety and economic development,” Dean said in his opening remarks. “They’re the three pitches you have to hit every day — if you hit them, everything else will take care of itself.”

New Lee ad touts ‘experience that matters’

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee is our with a new ad touting his “experience that matters.”

Here’s what Lee says in the commercial:

When we’re hiring people, the first thing we ask them about is experience. So, let me tell you about mine. I’m a father of four and a grandfather of five. I’m chairman of a company with 1,200 employees that’s been named by the Tennessean as the best place to work. I’m a seventh-generation Tennessean and a third-generation cattle farmer. That’s experience that matters.