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)