Governor Bill Haslam Wades Into Governor’s Race with Endorsement for Republican Bill Lee

Bill Haslam, Bill Lee

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, current Chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association (RGA), is working to ensure that while he works to keep or expand the number of Republican Governors across the country he doesn’t drop the ball in his home state. He’s endorsed Republican nominee Bill Lee in a new television ad purchased by the RGA.

In the ad, Haslam touts the progress that Tennessee has made during his tenure as Governor and says Bill Lee is the “right choice” to take the state to the next level. The RGA has put $500,000 behind the ad buy.

RGA ad “Right Choice” transcript:

Bill Haslam: “For eight years I’ve had the privilege of being your Governor. Together, we’ve made a lot of progress. More people have jobs than ever before. Our taxes are lower, our students are improving faster than anywhere in the country. Tennessee is stronger than ever. Bill Lee is the right choice to take Tennessee to the next level. We can trust him to make the right decisions, not the political ones. He’s been doing that his whole life. I’m asking you to join me in supporting Bill Lee for Governor.”

Ironically, much of the criticism directed at Lee’s primary competitor for the GOP nomination, Randy Boyd, focused on claims that he would simply be a continuation of the Haslam Administration, Haslam 2.0. Boyd was deemed “too moderate” by many Lee supporters who promoted their candidate as a “conservative outsider.”

During the hotly contested primary campaign, Diane Black attacked both Boyd and Lee as being “moderates.”

Now that same Lee team is enthusiastically embracing “moderate” Governor Haslam and Lee is expecting to be the beneficiary of the financial resources that can be directed towards him by the Haslam family/friends. Haslam’s chief fundraiser, Kim Kaegi, has reportedly already joined the Lee campaign.








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4 Thoughts to “Governor Bill Haslam Wades Into Governor’s Race with Endorsement for Republican Bill Lee”

  1. Dalton Jones

    Your endorsement includes the statement our taxes are low. Taxes aren’t the problem, low pay is. We need our infrastructure rebuilt without handouts from the government and the blue states who actually pay their share of taxes. You have given away millions if not billions in corporate welfare and we still don’t have a good hospital in my area.

  2. Bill

    I hope and pray Bill has enough sense to keep those would seek political favors at a distance. The problem with politics is that too many have all shared the same bed. Blackmail is one of the most powerful weapons in government.

  3. Kevin

    Recently, on a completely different issue, I read, “Republicans are thinking only in the short term – they are not thinking politically. Democrats always think politically.” And this is what Haslam is doing!

    With a start-up infusion of $130K on 6/30/2018, and not quite a month later an additional $540K, the Haslams (through the Republican Governors Association) are thinking politically! They are trying to set a “hook” into Bill Lee. Why? It must be nice to be able to blow that kind of money, but again I ask, why? I don’t believe that they are altruistic. Do they fear Lee will uncover and expose or undo something that the current governors did? Or are they laying the groundwork for future ventures? It’s probably just another way for them to buy what they want.

    I believe that Bill Lee is smart enough not to fall for this tactic, but it is up to us to stay engaged and vigilant.

  4. Terry

    And what, pray tell, would the people of Tennessee prefer? A spirit of unity among Republicans or more of the fractious, pointless mud slinging that characterized the campaigns of the other three GOP candidates?

    What Gov. Haslam is doing as leader of the RGA, and Bill Lee’s praise of Gov. Haslam after winning the primary, is spot on: time to set aside the posturing, half-truths and wholesale lies, and get to work. Bill Lee wants Tennessee to lead the nation. He won the primary by dint of the the quality of his character and clarity of vision – that is rare in politics, let’s admit it. But it will be incumbent upon local politicians, community leaders, and the everyday citizen to either capitalize on this (rare) opportunity, or squander it.