As the bitterly contested Republican primary for Governor comes to an end, Bill Lee is targeting Memphis in a late push for votes in West Tennessee. Lee has surged in the past two weeks and the few public polls show him with either a slight lead or in a dead heat heading into Election Day.
A new television ad that airs in Memphis highlights Lee’s ties to Memphis and his intent to focus on West Tennessee if he is elected Governor.
LEE Campaign Ad “Memphis” transcript:
Announcer: “For way too long, Shelby County and West Tennessee have been ignored.”
Bill Lee: “My family’s from here. My mom was born and raised in Memphis. I want you to hear it from me: As Governor I’m not going to ignore this part of the state. My campaign was the first to open an office here, and the first to release a plan specifically for Shelby County. This area has always been important to me, and that won’t change when I’m Governor. I’d sure appreciate your vote.”
Most political observers think the barrage of negative attack ads from Boyd, Black and their respective independent expenditure committees have slowed or stopped Lee’s momentum. Others question whether or not he has the organization in place to compete with the “Game Day” ground game that Boyd and Black claim to have been building for months.
Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill points out that some of the highest levels of early voter turnout have been in counties where Lee is expected to perform well.
“Although Lee’s momentum seemed to kick in after early voting began,” Gill says, “the bulk of that early vote came after his apparent surge so he may show up very well when those early vote numbers are announced shortly after the polls close on Thursday.”
“I expect the margins between the candidates to be narrow,” Gill adds, “so look for the campaigns to target specific counties and issues this week as they fight for the edge with those last undecided voters.”