Bill Lee (Tennessee politician) Article

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Bill Lee
TN Governor BillLee (cropped).jpg
50th Governor of Tennessee
Assumed office
January 19, 2019
Lieutenant Randy McNally
Preceded by Bill Haslam
Personal details
Born (1959-10-09) October 9, 1959 (age 59)
Franklin, Tennessee, U.S.
Political party Republican
Carol Ann Lee
( m. 1984; died 2000)

Maria Lee ( m. 2008)
Residence Governor's Mansion
Education Auburn University ( BS)

William Byron Lee (born October 9, 1959) [1] is an American businessman and politician serving as the 50th and current Governor of Tennessee since 2019. [2] [3]

Elected in 2018, Lee campaigned as a business oriented Republican. [4] The Lee Company was started by his grandfather during 1944, [5] and prior to entering politics, he held various positions at the Lee Company, eventually serving as President and CEO from 1992 to 2016. [6] [7]

Early life and career

Lee was raised on a farm in Fernvale, Tennessee, and attended Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. He was named President and CEO of his family's construction company, Lee Company, holding the position from 1992 until 2016. [8] He briefly served as Chairman. [8] He has served as the 7th Congressional District’s representative to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission in addition to being on the Board of Trustees at Belmont University in Nashville. Lee has also served as president of Tennesseans for Economic Growth, chairman of YMCA of Middle Tennessee, president of the Associated Builders and Contractors and has served on the board of several community organizations including the Hope Clinic for Women, Men of Valor Prison Ministry, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Operation Andrew among others. [9]

Lee is also active in Triple L Ranch, a fourth-generation family farm founded by his grandparents. Triple L Ranch operates a 1,000-acre, 400-head Hereford cattle operation, providing natural beef to farmers markets and restaurants throughout Middle Tennessee. [10] [11]

Governor of Tennessee

2018 election

Lee announced his campaign in the 2018 election for Governor of Tennessee in April 2017, campaigning on a socially and fiscally conservative platform. [8] He won the August 2 Republican primary election with 289,699 votes, or approximately 36.7 percent of the vote. Lee defeated Randy Boyd, Diane Black, and Beth Harwell [12] He defeated the Democratic nominee, former Mayor of Nashville Karl Dean in the November 6 general election. [13] [14]

Lee has previously chaired and served on the committee of the Tennessee Prayer Breakfast. [15]


Lee was sworn in on January 19, 2019. [16] On January 23, 2019, Lee signed his first executive order, which was to Address the Accelerated Transformation of Rural Areas. [17]

Personal life

Lee lives in Fernvale with his second wife, Maria, whom he married in 2008. [18] His first wife, Carol Ann, died in 2000 in a horseback riding accident. [19] Lee describes his wife's death as one of the most painful moments of his life. Afterwards he took extended time off from his construction company to raise his four children. [20]

Lee attends Grace Chapel Church. [21]


  1. ^ Lee Company – Leadership
  2. ^ "Sources: Bill Lee projected winner in Tennessee Governor's Race". WSMV-TV. November 6, 2018. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  3. ^ "Leadership William B. Lee, P.E., CEO"
  4. ^ "Bill Lee has potential to be an inspiring Tennessee governor | Opinion". Knoxville News Sentinel. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  5. ^ "Lee Company Names Richard Perko President & CEO"
  6. ^ "About Bill - Tennessee Governor-Elect Bill Lee". Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  7. ^ "Bill Lee stepping down as CEO of Lee Co. | Nashville Post". Nashville Post. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c Ebert, Joel; Garrison, Joey (April 23, 2017). "Republican Bill Lee announces run for governor of Tennessee". The Tennesseean. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  9. ^ "About". Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  10. ^ "Bill Lee Announces Candidacy For Governor, Calls Gas Tax Increase 'Water Under the Bridge Now'". Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  11. ^ "LLL Ranch". Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  12. ^ Ebert, Joel. "Bill Lee wins Republican nomination for governor of Tennessee". Tennesseean. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  13. ^ Ebert, Joel. "How Diane Black and Randy Boyd lost Tennessee's Republican primary for governor". Tenneseean. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  14. ^ Staff, WMCActionNews5 com. "Bill Lee chosen as Tennessee governor, beats Karl Dean". Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  15. ^ "Gov.-elect Bill Lee asks lawmakers for prayer, stresses his views on separation of church and state". The Tennessean. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Gov. Bill Lee Issues First Executive Order to Address Accelerated Transformation of Rural Areas". Tennessee Office of the Governor. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  18. ^ Karen Grigsby and Joel Ebert, Nashville Tennessean. "Midterm elections: Bill Lee wife next Tennessee first lady Maria Lee". Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  19. ^ "Campaigning for Tennessee governor: What life is like on the road with Republican Bill Lee". August 4, 2017. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  20. ^ "Who is Bill Lee?". 2018-07-06EDT00:00:10-14400. Retrieved November 8, 2018. Check date values in: |date= ( help)
  21. ^ "Vote Smart - Bill Lee's Biography".

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Bill Haslam
Republican nominee for Governor of Tennessee
Most recent
Political offices
Preceded by
Bill Haslam
Governor of Tennessee