GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Lee Donated $500 to Megan Barry’s Mayoral Campaign in 2015


Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee donated $500 to Megan Barry’s Mayoral campaign in May 2015, according to public records obtained by The Tennessee Star.

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The Williamson County businessman’s donation of $500 to Friends of Megan Barry on May 21, 2015 came two months before the August 2015 election for Mayor of Metro Nashville/Davidson County between Barry, David Fox, and real estate developer Bill Freeman.

Though the race was technically “non-partisan,” the battle quickly became highly partisan, with progressive Democrats rallying around Barry, conservatives and Republicans supporting Fox, and more moderate Democrats gravitating to Freeman.

No candidate gained enough votes in the general election to claim the mayor’s job, so a runoff between the top two vote getters–Barry and Fox–was held the following month in September.

Barry defeated Fox in that runoff, 55 percent to 45 percent, and was sworn in as Mayor of Nashville/Davidson County on September 25, 2015.

The Lee campaign confirmed Lee’s $500 donation to Barry, and provided The Star with a statement on the issue late Thursday.

“Bill doesn’t support Megan Barry. A few years ago a client asked him to give $500 to her campaign and he did. Politicians make political decisions. Businessmen – including Donald Trump – make business decisions,” an advisor to the Lee campaign told The Star.

Lee is one of four candidates seeking the Republican nomination for governor in the August 2018 primary.

Rep. Diane Black (R-TN-06), Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd, and Tennessee Speaker of the House Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) are also vying to become the GOP standard bearer.


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7 thoughts on “GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Lee Donated $500 to Megan Barry’s Mayoral Campaign in 2015

  1. Stuart I. Anderson

    I don’t want to get too negative about Lee insofar as if he has the best chance of defeating Randy! Boyd I will have to vote for him but really fellow conservatives, how can you vote for someone FOR GOVERNOR who has never shown any interest in politics nor strong political convictions about ANYTHING before placing himself in the hands of big buck pollsters and campaign functionaries who provide him with “campaign convictions.” Is having no relevant political record while being significantly past puberty really that attractive? It’s still ANYBODY BUT BOYD but some votes are going to be more difficult to cast than others.

  2. Floyd

    The Mayor has made it clear that her administration is open for business when it comes to influence peddling. Scratch her back and she will scratch yours and then some.

  3. lb

    Sorry, not believable. For whatever reason, you DID this–you supported her and that automatically disqualifies you from getting MY vote

  4. Martha Brown, RHIA, CCS (Retired)

    Did he also give to Fox? Also, does his company do business with Metro? Did they ever bid to try to do business with Metro? Think we need to know.

  5. Papa

    I’m sure Lee made the decision from a business owner’s prospective. I’m sure he does a lot of work for Metro Nashville. Had he not given something to the campaign, it could have been a big blow to business for the Lee Company if Madam Moonbeam chose to use other contractors.

    1. Don

      Agree with just about all TN Star articles, don’t know Bill Lee, however I know many business people that contributed to more than one campaign and voted with heart and mind. I have a Sr exec friend who told her she would lose to Freeman as he wrote a check. This doesn’t tell us anything only if you are influencing the reader less knowledgeable in business . One thing for sure she needs to go after embarrassing Nashville. More research please.

  6. 83ragtop50

    Lee was just greasing the skids for when she was elected? Just the same old dirty political games. Besides doesn’t everyone client to a political campaign immediately when a “customer” requests it?