TN governor discusses decision not to debate ahead of November election

McMINNVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Gov. Bill Lee’s choice not to debate before the November election has repeatedly been a point of contention. “I’m mostly focused on being governor right now,” Lee told a group of reporters Oct. 11.

But this week, Lee finally gave a bit more insight into his choice not to debate Democratic challenger Dr. Jason Martin.

“Each candidate must decide how they are going to spend their weeks. I’m here today, I was in Lake County earlier this morning,” Lee said. “I focus on being the governor. I think that’s the most important thing I can do in these next few weeks to stay focused on the things that we’ve been doing for the past four years and for the next four.

Elections aside, we’ve had a lot of political news and tension after the city of Nashville declined to bid for the 2028 Republican National Convention last week.

“The council, in a responsible way, should be interested in the economic activity of the city, politics aside,” Lee said. “It’s about economic activity, and we need to make sure that’s the direction we’re all looking to go.”

Also in Nashville, Mayor John Cooper announced a deal with the Tennessee Titans for a new stadium in East Nashville. The stadium could potentially attract huge sporting events like the Super Bowl, college football playoffs, March Madness, and more. Lee expressed excitement for the move, but wanted to make sure Tennessee got the most bang for their buck.

“It’s an investment in economic development, which is really an investment in jobs and opportunities for people,” he said. “We will have to be very sure that there is accountability in this process to ensure that taxpayers’ money is spent wisely. But it is an investment that will be good for the city.

Finally, Lee was at the Tennessee-Alabama game last Saturday. Although his alma mater – Auburn – lost by two scores to Ole Miss, the Volunteers defeated the Crimson Tide in an instant classic that Lee attended.

“It was amazing, what a great game it was,” he said with a smile. “I haven’t seen this much excitement in a crowd in a long, long time. It’s just awesome for the state of Tennessee. Go Flights.

It’s the only time Lee is expected to speak this week as he currently has no media availability until at least Sunday.


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