Lee stops by Elizabethton on ‘Believe In Tennessee Tour’

Published 1:53 pm Monday, August 20, 2018

“I believe in Tennessee.”

That was the message of Republican nominee for Governor Bill Lee as he kicked off a state-wide tour in Northeast Tennessee on Saturday morning.

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“I believe that Tennessee can lead the nation. I believe that we are positioned to do that with the right kind of leadership,” Lee told those who assembled for his stop at the Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County. “I believe that so strongly because of what I’ve learned in the last year, and who I’ve met, and communities I have come to know and love like this one.”

Saturday marked the launch of Lee’s Believe in Tennessee Tour, which will take the gubernatorial hopeful to all of the state’s 95 counties before the November 6 General Election. Lee started the tour Saturday morning in Johnson County before hitting Elizabethton as his second stop.

Lee won the Republican nomination in a highly contested six-candidate race. Lee captured around 36.75 percent of the votes statewide with his closest competitor, Randy Boyd, capturing 24.35 percent, followed by Diane Black with 23.01 percent. Beth Harwell captured 15.32 percent, while Kay White and Basil Marceaux Sr. each won less than one-half of one percent.

Support for Lee was particularly strong in Northeast Tennessee. In Carter County, Lee garnered just over 40 percent of the votes with Black coming in second with just over 25 percent.

“This is a part of the state that was very good to me two weeks ago on August 2, and this county in particular,” Lee told those assembled in Elizabethton on Saturday morning. “I am deeply grateful for that. You all have been gracious to us every time we have come.”

“I am deeply honored that you have put me in this next phase. I am one step closer to being able to lead with you and make this state great,” he added. “I need your engagement. This isn’t over. There is another election in November.”

One of the areas Lee said he will begin focusing on if elected is improving education for children in the state. Lee said Tennessee falls in the bottom half of the nation when it comes to educational outcomes. “We’ve got to do better than that for our kids,” he said.

Through his construction business, Lee said he has seen a need for skilled labor and providing those types of educations to Tennessee residents.

“I also believe that skilled trades and vocational, technical, and agricultural education is a critically important part of the future of this state, and it’s been ignored in our public school systems, for the most part, for decades,” Lee said. “It will take a long time to change that, but Day 1 for me I am going to start working on it.”