Lee squashes Capitol Hill rumors by confirming he will run for second term

Bill Lee delivers his inaugural address in Nashville on Jan. 19, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Gov. Bill Lee has brought an end to persistent statehouse humors that might not seek second term in 2022.

“I love this job,” Lee said when asked about his plans during a press conference late last week. “It’s been a big challenge, but I love serving Tennesseans and I intend to do that as long they’ll let me.”

Pressed whether that meant he would run again, Lee responded: “Yes.”

The question was the last one posed of the governor by The Tennessean’s Joel Ebert before leaving for a new job in his native Chicago.

Ebert reports potential candidate to succeed Lee include House Speaker Cameron Sexton and Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs. Others might include U.S. Rep. Mark Green, former Finance Commissioner Stuart McWhorter, Republican U.S. Senate nominee Bill Hagerty. The paper also includes U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn on the list of possible candidates.

The only eligible sitting governor not to seek re-election to second term was scandal-plagued Ray Blanton in 1978.

According to Ebert:

The pep Lee exuded during his early days in office has dissipated some as he’s faced months of difficult decisions due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the March tornadoes and occasional bouts with state lawmakers. 

Lee noted Thursday was the six-month anniversary since the deadly tornadoes touched down in Middle Tennessee, which was quickly followed by the state’s first case of COVID-19.

“Uncertain times, though, bring out the very best of people and we have certainly seen that in our state,” he said.

31 Responses to Lee squashes Capitol Hill rumors by confirming he will run for second term

  • Avatar
    Beatrice Shaw says:

    Of course he loves the power. Republicans never willingly give up power. He reminds me of Trump in that regard

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    James White says:

    The candidate and the potential candidates do not look very good from a constitutional conservative view point.
    Help!

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    Karen Bracken says:

    Ok Tennesseans, it is time to find a REAL constitutional conservative to remove Lee from office. I don’t think Lee has ever read the constitution and if he has he surely has no clue what it says or means. We need to new and better way to vet candidates. Like maybe a test on Constitution would be a good idea and a Civics course that insures these critters understand their duty as a servant of the people.

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Karen, we needn’t overthink this thing. When a candidate runs for high office like governor or U. S. Senator as conservatives we should simply analyze to his political record. Heritage Action and American Conservative Union scores when available are very useful. If he never held office before that is a big negative so he should furnish us with a list of his significant political contributions and/or advocacy since puberty. If he has no political record, or not much of one, he is unqualified for high office.

      In 2018 as a conservative I felt voting for Lee was out of the question. He was a perfect example of a wealthy No Record Candidate who simply woke up one morning and decided to try to buy himself the governor’s office. A PERFECT BLANK SLATE! With Diane Black (Heritage-77%) on the board why would any conservative possible consider voting for Lee? Well, enough did and now we get the voter’s remorse.

      • Avatar
        Karen Bracken says:

        I refuse to vote for the better of 2 evils because we are still voting for evil. I voted for an Independent candidate and I have no regrets. I did not vote for Lee and I never will.

        • Avatar
          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          We should go all out and support conservative candidates financially and by advocacy in Republican primaries and try to support Republican candidates in the general election especially when the election is close because we certainly don’t want to see a liberal Democrat be elected to ANYTHING. Generally, voting for Independents who can be expected to get less than 5% of the vote is such a waste of time, however, when my vote isn’t needed by a centrist or really cool tepid conservative Republican I will vote for an Independent too. I don’t recall ever voting for Lamar Alexander for example.

          • Avatar
            James White says:

            You will never get what you want until you vote FOR it. Stop voting Against it.
            We have to EDUCATE the people or they will just keep electing Neocon Republicans.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            We right wing types have marvelous powers of concentration allowing us to chew gum and walk at the same time. Applying those powers to the task at hand will allow us to EDUCATE the populace concerning the dangers of left wing authoritarianism and the wonders of small government federalism while at the same time voting so as to effectively prevent the left wing authoritarians from gaining public office.

          • Avatar
            James White says:

            Stuart, Stop, just stop rewarding bad behavior and see what happens.

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    Michael Lottman says:

    How about this rumor: Lee is bucking to be a Cabinet member in Trump’s First Reich administration after the formality of an election. He has been auditioning by emulating many of Trump’s actions and attitudes without the same degree of bombast.

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    Stuart I. Anderson says:

    As for Ebert, I wonder whether he will still be with Gannett Co., Inc. I am happy to say that Gannett is currently trading for about 1.85 per share and you know the old saying, when your company’s stock is selling for less than a Big Mac, it’s time to bail!

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    Taxpayer #314 says:

    Lee has no plan on how to move the state ahead, just like his friend trump who also has no plans on how to move the country ahead. Neither one has a plan for how to deal with the Pandemic or the economy so we just stumble along. The (R) party is simply bankrupt in ideas, but they still don’t want you to vote for a (D). So, (R) with bad records and laughable experience is their best hope now. The (R) have been in power for 4 years now and they want you to give them another chance to make this horrible mess we are currently in last for 4 more years. Make your vote count!

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      Eddie White says:

      Sometimes the best way to get more is to do less. Less taxes, less regulations, less troops in the Middle East. This has worked for President Trump and the result is a better economy than Obama/Biden and a more consistent and less intrusive foreign policy. This is what many Americans wanted in 2016 and that is what they have gotten.

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    Donna Locke says:

    I’ll be voting for the Democrat against this guy.

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    Taxpayer #314 says:

    Yes Eddie, having NO foreign policy is “less intrusive” and having half an economy as we do now is somehow better to you? Trump has been a disaster for the past 4 years and it will take years to clean up this mess.

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Having a nationalist foreign policy where we place the interests of the United States first and avoid endless foreign wars in which we have no vital interest is hardly “. . .having NO foreign policy. . ..” it’s simply having a foreign policy that favors the United States which the left certainly has no interest in doing. You complain about “. . .half an economy. . .” yet you are enthused about the candidacy of a senile old man and his shrewish running mate who favor closing everything down at the slightest excuse wherever the Chinese flu rears its head. It remains to be seen whether a majority of people in just the right states share your odd assortment of policy preferences.

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        Perry Aubric says:

        Stuart’s condescending nonsense does get tiresome, I am sure, even to those of his reactionary profit-before-morality-every-time political bent.

        To accuse Biden of senility is a juvenile accusation especially for anyone who is planning to vote for someone unable to read or speak above a fifth-grade level, who in fact doesn’t read and has caused great concern because he will not (and probably cannot) read with any level of comprehension his security briefings, who had to pay someone to take his college entrance exams, who has threatened to sue his alma mater rather than have his grades released, who has been cited as the “most stupid” student one of his professors ever had, who claims (laughably) that the Bible is his favorite book while offering a quote from “Two Corinthians,” whose ignorance has been documented and recorded and demonstrated hundreds of times, who was called a moron by his own Secretary of State. Fortunately, the senility slander only works with FOX/Limbaugh morons already in the Trump cult. Anyone who listened to the two acceptance speeches at the conventions knows better.

        As for the “shrewish” comment, proof enough what a sexist pig Stuart is.

        Come on, Stuart. You are really falling down on the brave attempt to rationalize your support for a thoroughly corrupt, incompetent, ignorant, fundamentally, unAmerican, racist, sexual predatory, Putin ass-kissing, mentally inferior, disgrace of a President. But, hey, if you get a tax cut, you don’t give a damn how much damage he does to this nation, do you?

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    Eddie White says:

    Whew , if Trump does pull an upset and wins this election, I hope someone keeps an eye on Perry…keep him away from the edge of the cliff…

    • Avatar
      Perry Aubric says:

      The entire nation and the rest of the world are on the edge of a cliff. Trump is pushing from behind, regardless of his bone spurs.

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Damn Perry, I that’s a fine way to speak of a world leader who has just been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize!

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    Taxpayer #314 says:

    Simply turning your back on your allies and neighbors does not constitute a foreign policy. It may put America first but it puts us in danger too with fewer and fewer allies as Trump insults them and calls their leaders and diplomats his usual array of childish names. One day we will wish we had all of our allies back with us again. America’s reputation and truth seeking is in tatters. Everyone understands that the Nobel nomination was just a joke. As Cohen said yesterday, Trump just wants to be like Obama. He tries so hard to “be bester” than Obama but he just can’t measure up. Sad.

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Taxpayer, as a leftist it’s hard for you to understand or accept that the United States is the strongest country in the world so other countries want to be allied with us – they need us not the other way around. Rather than frighten yourself by your own fairytales about “. . .fewer and fewer allies. . . .” thanks to Trump why don’t you make a list of the allies that we have recently lost. See? The answer is ZERO, so don’t be frightened Taxpayer.

      Now it is true, whenever the American people make the mistake of putting liberals in office our military is allowed to run down from lack of resources and foreign countries and NGO’s are allowed to make fools of us but that stopped with Trump. Of course, not being able to make fools of the U.S. by having it pay for the defense of prosperous countries like Germany or support organizations that are shills for the Red Chinese like the WHO doesn’t please those who were taking advantage of the U.S. but to an American who cares about this country that shouldn’t cause much concern. The fact that it does concern Americans on the left tells us all we need to know about the left’s attitude toward this country.

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    James White says:

    George Washington – *Warns against permanent foreign alliances. “It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world…”
    *On an over-powerful military establishment. “…avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty.”

    George Washington advised not to “entangle our peace and prosperity” with others. Thomas Jefferson urged avoidance of “entangling alliances.” And John Quincy Adams declared that America “goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.”

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    Eddie White says:

    James, have you been watching the news? Do you live in a cave? We no longer quote former slave owners per the left wing of the Democratic Party who are on the verge of occupying the White House.

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    Taxpayer #314 says:

    You trump supporters think that he is not making fools of you, he doesn’t support our military, we are loosing our allies every day and our long time honest and truthful government employees are being replaced by his group of family thugs. He is stacking the courts with his donors and fellow thieves. Keep telling yourself that everything is just fine. Trump is dismantling America a little every day. Every day brings new charges against the president or his family but you may dream on.

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