Tennessee Governor Bill Lee hauled in approximately $685,000 in the first half of 2021, as the incumbent governor seeks to build his arsenal heading into 2022.
Lee’s campaign has a total of $2.4 million on hand to spend — after using $357,000 during the course of this financial filing period.
Governor Lee already announced his intentions to seek another term in the Governor’s Mansion. In September 2020, Lee said, “I love this job. It’s been a big challenge but I love serving Tennesseans and I intend to do that as long they’ll let me.”
Lee’s contributions come from a wide range of supporters — with the single largest donation being a $12,700 gift from Gresham Smith, an architectural firm located in Nashville.
While no notable candidate has declared a campaign against Lee, one coalition of largely Democratic voters has formed a super PAC to defeat Lee.
“This political action committee is composed of Tennesseans from all parts of the state and members include working families, single young folks, white collar professionals, politicians, and Tennesseans from all backgrounds united around the mission to beat Bill Lee in 2022. Beat Bill Lee will utilize a mixture of traditional and unconventional campaign tactics to lead a campaign against the current sitting governor,” the group said in a statement announcing their formation.
Lee has also faced criticism from his own party, especially relating to his coronavirus efforts.
“The ripples in the pond become a tidal wave, and that is my fear for the first and second quarter. I beg our governor and the mayor of Nashville to get this thing open,” Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles told The Tennessee Star during the state’s restrictions
In 2018, Lee dominated a crowded and well-known Republican field, beating Randy Boyd, U.S. Representative Diane Black, and State House Speaker Beth Harwell.
After winning the primary battle, Lee cruised to victory in the general election. He defeated Democrat Karl Dean by over 20 points and received almost 60 percent of the total vote.
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