Williamson County businessman Bill Lee on Wednesday opened a campaign office in Shelby County for his run for Tennessee governor.
The office is on Poplar Avenue in Memphis, Lee announced in a press release. He also named Shelby County leaders who will help with his gubernatorial campaign.
Lang Wiseman, a local attorney and former Shelby County Republican Party chairman, will chair Lee’s campaign in Shelby County. Horace Tipton will serve as the Shelby County field director. A Memphis native, Tipton worked in the Texas House of Representatives as a legislative aide and most recently worked for the campaign for Tennessee state Rep. Kevin Vaughan, a Republican who won a seat representing part of Shelby County in a special election in June.
County captains for Lee’s campaign in Shelby County will include Karen Dunavant, Elaine Ervins and Rieta Selberg.
“Bill has been meeting with leaders and voters in our community for months now, and his presence here shows he is continuing to follow through on his commitment to this area as governor,” Wiseman said.
Lee released a detailed plan for Memphis and Shelby County last month that included an education plan, active engagement with law enforcement, a focus on infrastructure and economic development, and engagement with the faith community.
Lee, who has a background in farming as well as business, is chairman of Lee Company, a family-owned construction, facilities and home services company with offices and operations throughout Middle Tennessee, northern Alabama and southern Kentucky. He has never held elected office and to make himself known to voters has traveled the state in a campaign RV and on a tractor.
Other leading candidates for the Republican nomination for governor are House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville), U.S. Rep. Diane Black (R-TN-6), Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd and former Mt. Juliet state Sen. Mae Beavers. Democratic candidates include former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and state House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh (D-Ripley).