Bill Lee campaigns at the Dixie

Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Bill Lee speaks with Chapel Hill Mayor Danny Bingham after his town hall meeting on Monday.
Tribune photos by Scott Pearson

Almost 15 months ago, Lewisburg was one of Bill Lee’s first stops after declaring his run for the governor’s office.

He has toured the state since then, on buses and tractors, and returned Monday as part of a town hall tour of the state.

With the August 2 primary closing in, Lee hosted a lunch-time town hall at the Dixie Theatre on the square in order to bring his campaign message to voters.

A crowd gathered Monday on the square in Lewisburg for BBQ and a town hall meeting with Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee.

A long way that first meeting with the county Republican party, Lee gathered a crowd to hear his vision for the state and the values underpinning that vision.

Lee spoke about the importance that his faith, his family, and his experiences in business had on his decision to run and on his platform.

“Can I make life better for everyone in this state? I think I can,’ Lee said.

Lee said that his message boiled down to Tennesseans fundamental needs: good jobs, good schools, and safe neighborhoods.

Lee emphasized his position as a conservative outsider in the race, contrasting himself with his main opponents, Diane Black and Randy Boyd.

Lee discussed many of the points key to his campaign during a question and answer period, focusing on his social and financial conservatism.

The Williamson County businessman said that he took many of the lessons he’s learned from running the Lee Company, a $225 million mechanical contracting firm, into his plan for leading the state.

He mentioned a renewed emphasis on education for the skilled trades, citing the 1,200 plumbers, electricians, and other tradespeople who worked for him.

A cattle rancher himself, Lee said that agriculture was an ignored part of the state’s economy, despite representing 13 percent of the state’s economy.

He cited his Roadmap for a Rural Tennessee, aimed at preserving and improving the way of life in the state’s rural counties, 15 of which are considered as impoverished.

Lee said in closing that the contest for the Republican nomination to replace Bill Haslam was a three-way race, and that he stood out from his opponents.

“I believe Tennesseans want a conservative and an outsider to change the status quo in this state,’ he said.