TENNESSSEE
     Nov. 6, 2018 Governor

Gov.
Sen.2
Sen.1
2018


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+Bill Lee (R) 
1,336,106
59.56%
Karl Dean (D)
864,863
38.55%
Independents (26)
42,314
1.89%
w/in
11


2,243,294

Plurality 471,423 votes (21.01 percentage points).
   TN Secretary of State




Notes
: 
Gov. Bill Haslam (R) was term-limited.  Businessman Bill Lee, 59, running as a conservative outsider, kept the office in Republican hands, defeating former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean (D), 63.

The Aug. 2 Republican primary contest was among the most interesting of the 2018 cycle, featuring four strong candidates, Running were two women with extensive experience in elective office, U.S. Rep. Diane Black, elected in 2010, who formerly served in the Tennessee Senate and Tennessee House, and Beth Harwell, Speaker of the Tennessee House since 2011.  Also running were two businessmen with no experience in elective office, Randy Boyd, founder and executive chairman of Radio Systems Corporation and former Tennessee Economic Development Commissioner, and Bill Lee, from Franklin, chairman of Lee Company (and CEO to Feb. 2016).
  All told the four Republican campaigns spent more than $49 million during the primary.  Boyd spent more than $19 million of his own money, Black contributed millions to her run, and Lee loaned his campaign millions.  When the votes were tallied Bill Lee was the surprise winner at 36.75%, followed by Randy Boyd (24.35%), Diane Black (23.01%) and Beth Harwell (15.32%). 

For Democrats, Karl Dean won 75.1% of the primary vote over House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh.  Dean served two terms as Mayor from 2007-15.


Dean was seen as trailing throughout the race.  Lee and Dean engaged in three debates: at the University of Memphis on Oct. 2 (1, 2); at Eastman Employee Center in Kingsport on
Oct. 9 (+); and at Belmont University in Nashville on Oct. 12 (+).

See also:
Joel Ebert.  "Spending in Tennessee's race for governor tops $50 million."  Tennessean, July 27, 2018.
Blake Farmer and Chas Sisk.  "Bill Lee Stuns Field, Wins GOP Nomination To Be Tennessee Governor."  Nashville Public Radio,  Aug. 2, 2018.


Campaign Managers:
Bill Lee:   Chris Devaney
(Aug. 2017 campaign manager and senior advisor)  Executive director of Children's Nutrition Program of Haiti, based in Chattanooga, 2015-17.  Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party, elected May 30, 2009-April 2015.  State director to U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, 2007-09.  Executive director of the Tennessee Republican Party, 2005-07.  Principal at Devaney and Associates, 2002-05.  State director/regional director to U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm (TX), 2000-02.  Projects director/field rep. to U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson, 1995-2000.  Senior producer for the U.S. Senate Republican Conference, 1991-95.  Assistant communications/ research director on Fred Thompson for Senate camapign, Sept.-Nov. 1994.  Editor at NBC Radio News/Mutual Broadcasting, 1990-91.  State Capitol reporter for KGOU Public Radio, 1989-90.  B.A. in political science from University of Oklahoma, 1989.

Karl Dean:   Courtney Wheeler
(announced Mar. 20, 2017)  Director of community engagement at Project Renaissance, a nonprofit started by Dean, Aug. 2015-Feb. 2017.  Director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods and special assistant to Mayor Dean, Jan. 2013-Aug. 2015.  National voter protection coordinator on Obama for America, Jan.-Nov. 2012.  Campaign manager on Mayor Dean's 2011 re-election campaign.  Director of special projects at the DNC, Aug. 2010-Jan. 2011.  Deputy campaign manager on Karl Dean for Mayor, 2007.  Political director on Jim Davis for Governor of Florida, 2005-06.  Political director at the Tennessee Democratic Party, 2004-05.  Field director in Tennessee and Maryland on John Kerry for President, then served as delegate tracker for the campaign.  Campaign manager for a couple of state reps. on the Tennessee Coordinated Campaign, Fall 2012.  J.D. from Texas Tech University School of Law, 2010; undergraduate degree from Texas State University-San Marcos, 2001.


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