The Best Choice For Governor

Friday, July 13, 2018
Tennessee’s gubernatorial election has some very qualified candidates and other career politicians who resemble the swamp that desperately needs to be drained. Over the last few weeks, we have seen some very dishonest attack ads that resemble both childishness and desperation. Amidst this pathetic level of bickering, there is one candidate left in this race who is taking the high road, focusing on real issues that address actual Tennessee concerns, and is a true conservative outsider who will truly make our state a better place.
His name is Bill Lee.

As both a follower of Christ and a conservative, character matters a lot to me when it comes to evaluating a political candidate. Unfortunately, a lot of candidates who have a great heart with a good character don’t always possess the ability to lead and be an effective politician. In our gubernatorial race, we are blessed to have a candidate in Bill Lee who checks both of these boxes. As an outsider businessman from Nashville, Lee has not only been successful in his management of Lee company, but he is adored by his 1150 employees. He was voted the most admired CEO in Nashville and his company has been voted the best place to work in Middle Tennessee not once, but four times. When he returned to Lee company in 2003, the firm was on the verge of bankruptcy, but he was able to bring them back and the company is now worth approximately $220 million! As we see with his business leadership abilities, he is both effective, and successful. As a successful executive, he is well qualified and prepared to run the executive branch of our state government. 

If his business leadership ability is not enough, look at how he lives his life. He has serves on the board of the Middle TN YMCA where he mentored an inner-city student. Furthermore, he worked with the prison ministry Men of Valor to mentor a recently released felon named Adam at 5:30 every Tuesday morning. He did this for seven years and Lee’s investment helped Adam re-enter society. He has also gone with his kids on mission trips to Haiti, Uganda, Kenya, and Mexico. His work with the student and with Adam have shown him the need for conservative solutions to our problems including school choice and criminal justice reform. While most politicians talk about their faith because it plays well with voters, when Bill Lee talks about his faith we know it is the real deal because we can look back at the last twenty years of his life and see how he has been living it out long before he ever considered running for an elected position. With his faith, Lee walks the walk.

Finally, I would like to specifically address the dishonest attack ads coming from Diane Black’s campaign. In the ads, she claims that Lee is a moderate or a RINO (A derogatory term that stands for Republican-In-Name-Only). This could not be further from the truth and this level of desperation from the Black campaign is laughable. The evidence Black cites is that in the past, Lee has made small donations to Democrats Phil Bredesen, Karl Dean, and Megan Barry. While this part is true, Black ignores the rest of the story. As many business executives do, Lee has donated over $160,000 to different political candidates throughout his life. A close analysis of his expenditures through the years will show that the contributions given to Barry, Dean, and Bredesen were 0.7% of his total campaign contributions. The other 99.3% of his contributions went to Republican candidates. What strikes me even more about this ad is how Lee responded. He refused to take the low road and respond with a baseless attack toward Black, instead opting for the high road where he continues to focus on issues and his qualifications to be our next governor. In his response ad, he said something that hit it home. He asked viewers if a politician who is willing to say or do anything to win an election is someone they want as their leader, to which he responded: “if not, I would sure appreciate your vote.” Even in his response to a negative and dishonest ad, Lee once again demonstrated the class and the traits you need to be a great leader, which he will be if elected governor. 

In conclusion, I hope everyone else who reads this and considers themself a conservative and/or a Christian joins me in voting for Bill Lee in Tennessee’s Republican Primary. Lee is an ideal candidate for the job with outstanding qualifications and an impeccable character. While we have several other decent candidates also running for governor, when you look at their track record and compare it to Lee's, the choice is clear. Bill Lee is the best candidate for governor and I urge you to join me in voting for him on August 2nd.

Thank You and God Bless,

Alexander Ioannidis

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