Bill Lee chosen as Tennessee governor, beats Karl Dean

Bill Lee chosen as Tennessee governor, beats Karl Dean

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Republican Bill Lee is projected to win the race for Tennessee governor, according to NBC News.

Lee beat out Democrat Karl Dean to replace term-limited Republican Governor Bill Haslam.

Governor-Elect Bill Lee acceptance speech

Lt. Governor Randy McNally made the statement below following unofficial election results in the Tennessee governor’s race:

“I would like to congratulate Bill Lee on his victorious campaign for governor. After watching how Bill connects with people and inspires our citizens, I am convinced he is the perfect person to lead our state at this moment. We are in strong position as a state but there is more left to do. Bill is an executive and CEO who is just as comfortable on a farm or factory floor as he is in a boardroom. As a state, Tennessee is on the cusp of moving to the next level and truly leading the nation. Bill Lee is the next level leader who can take us there.”

Senator Bob Corker also took to Twitter to congratulate Lee and U.S. Senate-Elect Marsha Blackburn.

Dean and his supporters anxiously awaited the night’s election results in West Nashville.

Dean spent the day making his final rounds of campaigning.

He started early Tuesday morning in Memphis at Schilling Farms and Unity Christian Church.

He said that Memphis is a critical campaign area for him because there‘s a huge block of voters in the city.

Dean then made his way to Jackson, Chattanooga, Knoxville and finally ending in Nashville.

Decision 2018: Dean vs. Lee for Tennessee Governor

He decided to vote early and focus on trying to win over any last minute voters

Dean was hoping his experience as the former Mayor of Nashville, as well as his detailed plans, will be enough to win over voters in a state that has a tendency to vote Republican.

This was not the case for Dean.

He gave a very heartfelt thank you to all of his supporters, his family and elected officials who stood by him during this campaign. He said he believes the message he had was an important one where everyone is valued, welcomed and treated with dignity and respect. He also had some very nice things to say about his opponent, now governor-elect Bill Lee

Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean concedes to Bill Lee

Republican Bill Lee, Dean's opponent, held his watch party in his hometown, outside Nashville.

He spent the final day of the campaign brainstorming across the state, making six stops to meet with supporters.

He made his final stop of the night in Memphis, telling supporters that although polls indicate he’s the favorite to become Tennessee’s next governor, they shouldn’t focus too much on the polls.

“The only poll that matters is tomorrow and that is why we’re working so hard up until tonight," said Lee.

Tuesday morning, Lee was back in Williamson County.

He and his family visited a local polling site to cast their votes.

Throughout the campaign, Lee has tried to project a positive image.

He even called his opponent, Democrat Karl Dean, “a good man” in his final TV ad.

Polls indicated voters responded to that type of message.

CLICK HERE to check for a full list of results.

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