Lee Launches Campaign

The Republican has hired Fred Davis, Whit Ayres, and other consultants.

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Zach C. Cohen
April 24, 2017, 10:08 a.m.

Busi­ness­man Bill Lee (R) on Sunday “an­nounced a gubernat­ori­al run that had been widely an­ti­cip­ated. … Lee … enters a wide-open GOP primary with no gov­ern­ment ex­per­i­ence and a cam­paign plat­form of jobs, edu­ca­tion and pub­lic safety. … Lee is … ex­pec­ted to be in a po­s­i­tion to self-fin­ance a por­tion of” his cam­paign.

“Lee, who had been weigh­ing a run for the past year, in­tends to ap­point Fred De­cosimo, a prin­cip­al at a Chat­tanooga ac­count­ing firm, as his treas­urer on Monday. His cam­paign team also con­sists of vet­er­an GOP op­er­at­ives Chris Walk­er, who is serving as com­mu­nic­a­tions ad­viser; poll­ster Whit Ayres; me­dia con­sult­ant Fred Dav­is; and Blake Har­ris and Jordan Gehrke, who are gen­er­al con­sult­ants. … Stu­art McWhort­er, co-founder and chair­man of Clayton As­so­ci­ates and former CEO of the Nashville En­tre­pren­eur Cen­ter, is Lee’s cam­paign fin­ance chair­man. Anna Mc­Don­ald, former fin­ance dir­ect­or of the Ten­ness­ee Re­pub­lic­an Party, is the cam­paign’s fin­ance dir­ect­or.”

“Lee’s cam­paign will form­ally kick off on Monday.”

“Now the chair­man and former CEO of Frank­lin-based Lee Co. will look to run on that ca­reer … in a Re­pub­lic­an bid for Ten­ness­ee gov­ernor. … He’ll also seek to tell his per­son­al story. A sig­ni­fic­ant turn­ing point for Lee — one likely to be told on the cam­paign trail — oc­cured [sic] in 2000 when his wife of 16 years was killed in a horse-rid­ing ac­ci­dent on the fam­ily’s farm. Heart­broken, Lee said he turned to God more than ever.” (The Ten­nessean)


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