Gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee announced Wednesday former Tennessee GOP Chairman Chris Devaney will be the new Campaign Manager and Senior Advisor.
“It’s humbling to have so many talented people join our efforts to help share my vision for Tennessee,” said Lee. “I’m grateful for the team we’re assembling. This is one more indicator of the excitement and enthusiasm we are seeing all across this state for our campaign.”
Tennessee Republicans know Chris Devaney well, thanks to his years of service as Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party from 2009 – 2015. During his tenure, Republicans gained a working majority in the Tennessee State House in 2010, as well as turning Tennessee’s Congressional delegation to a 7-2 Republican majority, and elected a Republican governor that year.
In 2012, both the State Senate and State House attained supermajority status. Devaney also spearheaded the ‘Red to the Roots’ campaign, a program aimed at electing county and judicial candidates across the state.
“Bill Lee is someone I have had so much respect for over the years. His conservative values and principles, and the fact he is not a career politician, are the reasons why I joined his team,” Devaney said. “I’m excited to be a part of this campaign and look forward to helping Bill win next year.”
The key hire is among a handful of additions that will serve to round out the campaign team moving forward into the 2018 election cycle.
Tony Niknejad will serve as Policy Director, Caroline Davidson is joining the finance team and Majority Strategies will lead the campaign’s direct mail efforts.
Tony Niknejad most recently served as Tennessee State Director for the American Federation for Children. In 2016, Niknejad worked with the Republican Party of Kentucky in their historic retaking of the state House in 2016, as well as two Republican campaigns for congressional candidates in Georgia and Tennessee. He has also served as a policy staffer at the Tennessee State Senate and is the former chairman of the Davidson County Young Republicans.
Caroline Davidson was the Finance Director for Karen Handel’s special election race in Georgia this year, widely recognized as the most expensive congressional race in U.S. history.