Source: Lee to name McWhorter as finance commissioner

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee speaks at a rally in Franklin on Oct. 17, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican Gov.-elect Bill Lee plans to name Stuart McWhorter as commissioner of the state Department of Finance and Administration, The Tennessee Journal has learned. The official announcement is expected later this week, according to a source close to the Lee transition team.

The finance commissioner traditionally serves as the governor’s chief Cabinet officer.

McWhorter was Lee’s finance chairman during the governor’s race and is currently the chairman of his inauguration planning efforts. He is the chairman and president of Clayton Associates, and investment management company focused on the health care and technology industries. He has also served on the board of directors of the Lee Co. (the plumbing and HVAC company owned by the governor-elect), FirstBank of Tennessee, 247 Sports Media, Haven Behavioral Healthcare, MedEquities Healthcare REIT, JumpStart Foundry, and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center.

McWhorter has taught about health care and entrepreneurship as an adjust professor at Belmont University. He earned his master’s in health administration from the University of Alabama-Birmingham and a bachelor’s degree in management from Clemson University.

McWhorter’s father, R. Clayton McWhorter, was a longtime executive with HCA who rose to the level of CEO before co-founding HealthTrust Inc. in 1987.  That company merged with HCA in 1995 and he founded Clayton Associates the following year. The elder McWhorter died in 2016.

Stuart McWhorter briefly considered running for Nashville mayor in 2015 before deciding against a bid.

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