Bill Lee

Lee accused of campaign finance violations; spokesman calls complaint ‘nonsense’

Williamson County businessman Bill Lee is accused in a recently-filed complaint of violating various laws in the financing of his campaign for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, reports The Tennessean. A spokesman for the candidate calls the complaint “nonsense” and the newspaper notes there are a couple of apparent factual errors that might prompt the Registry of Election Finance to dismiss it.

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New Lee and Harwell ads hit the airwaves

Republican gubernatorial candidates Bill Lee and Beth Harwell are on the air with new ads:

Black wants Memphis Megasite redo; other guber candidates would stay the project’s course

Diane Black has taken a strikingly different stance on developing the Memphis Regional Megasite in Haywood County notes the Jackson Sun in a Thursday article rounding up comments from other gubernatorial candidates on the subject. Black proposes to turn the megasite into an “agricultural hub” instead of continuing the so-far-unsuccessful effort to get a big new business located there.

Black outlined her proposal in an Commercial Appeal op-ed piece back in late April, declaring the project has been “a boondoggle from the beginning” and “thoroughly mismanaged by the bureaucrats in Nashville” – including, presumably, fellow GOP gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd, who headed the Department of Economic and Community Development for a period of the megasite’s development.

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New PAC backs Lee in Republican gubernatorial race with radio ad

A new Super PAC supporting Tennessee Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee says it began airing radio ads today touting the Williamson County businessman as the “conservative outsider we need,” reports the Times Free Press.

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GOP gubernatorial candidates showed at Trump rally; only Black got presidential mention

While President Trump’s Nashville rally was held to support Marsha Blackburn’s run for the U.S. Senate, four Republican gubernatorial candidates were on hand as well to show support for the president and look for votes, reports WKRN TV. U.S. Rep. Diane Black got a presidential mention.

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Stealth contest no more? Boyd puts out 2-week schedule

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

For reasons that haven’t been entirely clear, most of the candidate running for governor this year have kept their whereabouts a closely-guarded secret from the media and the public at large. That appears to finally be changing among the Republican field as we head into the final 45 days before early voting gets underway.

Franklin businessman Bill Lee’s campaign has begun putting out more detailed calendars about where the Republican will be campaigning, while U.S. Rep. Diane Black’s camp has announced occasional one-off events. For House Speaker Beth Harwell it’s mostly been radio silence. But Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd took a major step in scheduling transparency by releasing a detailed list of events he is holding as part of his 95-county bus tour over the next two weeks.

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Bill Lee TV ad quotes Jesus — ‘Love the Lord… love your neighbor’

 

 

Press release from Bill Lee campaign

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – Today, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee released a new statewide television ad entitled, “Serve.” The ad is the second of his campaign, and is the first in a series of ads planned for the coming weeks.

Ad Script:

“Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love the Lord – but the second one is like it – love your neighbor.

And that means that we’re called to serve.

Now only He knows how imperfectly I’ve done that, but I do try to serve my family, my neighbors and twelve hundred employees every day.

As governor, you have my word – I’ll work to serve your family the very same way.”

 

 

GOP gubernatorial candidates fret about trade war, but declare trust in Trump

President Donald Trump’s plan to raise tariffs on foreign aluminum and steel drew concerns from most Republican candidates for governor at a forum on Thursday at Martin, according to the Associated Press. They generally indicated worry about a trade war could harming Tennessee’s farm exports, particularly soybeans.

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Takeaways from the GOP gubernatorial debate in Memphis

The Memphis event was billed in advance (and again from the stage) as not being yet another meaningless gubernatorial forum in which everybody would end up restating the same platitudes, but a bona fide battle royale, a “debate.” It wasn’t.

There was little overt disagreement and minimal effort to create it. The Republican participants  — Diane Black, Randy Boyd, and Bill Lee (Harwell begged off because of legislative responsibilities) — became a virtual amen chorus to the idea that Memphis has been shafted by the state relative to other sections of Tennessee.

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House’s $250K Memphis money cut becomes GOP debate topic, inspires fundraising drive

In a debate Wednesday, three Republican candidates for governor said they disagreed with a House vote to cut $250,000 in funding for Memphis because of the city’s removal of Confederate monuments from former city parks. But Diane Black, Randy Boyd and Bill Lee also said they opposed the city’s action, reports the Memphis Daily News. House Speaker Beth Harwell, who missed the debate while presiding over the House in Nashville, voted for the Memphis funding cut.

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page has been started on Facebook to raise funds to make up the money lost through the House vote, according to a separate News report. As of Thursday morning, $44,765 had been raised toward the $250,000 goal.

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