Bill Lee wins first debate

October 2, 2018 -- After the first general election debate in the Tennessee Gubernatorial race, Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Scott Golden released the following statement:

"Tonight's debate clearly shows that Bill Lee is the right man to lead our state. Bill's experience as a father, farmer, businessman and political outsider show a stark differences between him and a career politician. Bill demonstrated a strong grasp on the critical issues in Memphis and West Tennessee and is ready to take on role of addressing the challenges facing Tennessee. He spoke passionately about the importance of criminal justice reform and vocational education, and is the only candidate that will build on the success of our Republican leadership and make Tennessee a leader in the nation.

"Karl Dean's performance tonight only highlighted that he is not in line with Tennessee values. Dean tried to frame Tennessee as a state where we are lacking in infrastructure, educational opportunities, and economic development, and that is simply not the case. The truth is that under Republican leadership, Tennessee is thriving. Voters know that Tennessee has a record of success under Republicans and Bill Lee is going to build on that record as Governor."