Bill Lee

Lee reserves $2.2M worth of TV ad time for June through Aug. 2 GOP gubernatorial primary

Williamson County gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee has reserved $2.2 million worth of TV time to run campaign ads from June through the Aug. 2 Republican primary, reports Joel Ebert.

Although the spots are still months away from hitting the airwaves, Lee has reserved $1.1 million in ads to air on local broadcast stations in Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, the Tri-Cities area and throughout West Tennessee, including Memphis and Jackson, as well as Paducah, Kentucky.

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Of six gubernatorial candidates, only Harwell supports removing governor from UT board

House Speaker Beth Harwell supports Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal to reduce the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees from 26 to 11 members – including elimination of the governor as a board member, according to a Victor Ashe column. But  five other major candidates for governor want to have a seat on the board if elected.

Randy Boyd, Craig Fitzhugh, Bill Lee and Diane Black all said they thought the governor should be a board member and they would actively attend meetings as governor. Karl Dean said he would actively attend meetings but did not respond to the question of whether the law should be amended to remove the governor.

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Lee, Boyd differ on megasite development at guber forum

Two leading Republican candidates for governor in Tennessee drew a contrast over an economic development “megasite” during a forum Thursday, reports the Associated Press.

At the Tennessee Press Association forum, former state economic development chief Randy Boyd said it’s worth the time and remaining investment of $70 million-plus to the Memphis Regional Megasite because it could help create more than 30,000 jobs.

But businessman Bill Lee said there isn’t currently a workforce prepared for the jobs that the megasite might attract.

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Lee reports $3.7M cash on hand for gubernatorial race

Press release from Bill Lee campaign

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee announced his campaign for governor has raised nearly $2.3 million for the 2017 reporting period, with over $900,000 in the second half of 2017.  In addition to the amount raised, Bill and his wife Maria committed to match campaign donations dollar for dollar, ending the reporting period with over $3.7 million cash on hand.

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Beavers exit came after reporting poor fundraising in run for governor

Former Sen. Mae Beavers suspension of her campaign for governor came after filing a financial disclosure showing she had raised a modest $163,947 in the past six months.

She reported spending $51,931 through Jan. 10 and a cash-on-hand balance of $167,409.  In her first  gubernatorial campaign disclosure, filed last July, Beavers reported receiving $56,771 — $40,000 of that transferred from her old state Senate campaign account.

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Boyd to drop $300,000 on statewide TV buy

Tennessee gubernatorial candidates talk education during SCORE event at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, January 23, 2018. (Photo credit: Belmont Univeristy)

Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd speaks during a forum at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, January 23, 2018. (Photo credit: Belmont University)

Randy Boyd is spending $300,000 on a statewide ad buy in support of his Republican bid for governor, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports.

The campaign confirmed the move to reporter Andy Sher, who spotted the evidence of the buy in Federal Communications Commission filings.

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Poll finds Black leads Dean by 11 points hypothetical governor match; Beavers tied

Former state Sen. Mae Beavers and Williamson County businessman Bill Lee would face closer general election races as the Republican nominee for governor against  Democrat Karl Dean, a former Nashville mayor, than three other contenders for the GOP nomination, according to a poll commissioned by Tennessee Star.

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Lee launches first statewide TV ad of gubernatorial campaign

Williamson County businessman Bill Lee, who polling indicates has the lowest name recognition among major Republican candidates for governor,  has become the first with a statewide television advertising campaign. The one-minute ad, entitled “Why,” is aimed at introducing the candidate to voters and is scheduled to run for a week starting on Saturday. The ad features footage of Lee farm and the candidate talking about the death of his first wife, the Lee Company that he runs and concludes with the declaration:

“Can I make life better for every person in this state? I believe I can. I’m sure going to try.”

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Five gubernatorial candidates agree on most education issues

Five Tennessee gubernatorial candidates had a “cordial hourlong forum” on education Tuesday evening at Belmont University in Nashville, displaying few disagreements and making plenty of promises, reports The Tennessean.

Tennessee gubernatorial candidates talk education during SCORE event at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, January 23, 2018. (Photo credit: Belmont University)

Tennessee gubernatorial candidates talk education during SCORE event at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, January 23, 2018. (Photo credit: Belmont University)

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See the gubernatorial hopefuls in action at the first televised debate

Five of the seven major candidates for governor attended the first televised debate of the campaign season last night.

Here are some pool photos of those who discussed education issues at Belmont University: Republicans Randy Boyd, Beth Harwell and Bill Lee; and Democrats Karl Dean and Craig Fitzhugh. Mae Beavers had been scheduled to appear, but bowed out following the death of her mother over the weekend. Fellow Republican Diane Black chose to attend other events.

From left, Republican Beth Harwell, Democrat Craig Fitzhugh. Democrat Karl Dean, Republican Bill Lee, and Republican Randy Boyd during the Gubernatorial Forum on Education at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. (Andrew Nelles/The Tennessean, Pool)

From left, Republican Beth Harwell, Democrat Craig Fitzhugh. Democrat Karl Dean, Republican Bill Lee, and Republican Randy Boyd during the Gubernatorial Forum on Education at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. (Andrew Nelles/The Tennessean, Pool)

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