Nov 9, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Bill Lee sails to second term as Tennessee governor

Photo illustration of Tennessee Governor Bill Lee with lines radiating from him.

Photo illustration: Allie Carl/Axios. Photo: Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee cruised to a second term Tuesday, defeating his Democratic challenger Jason Martin by a wide margin despite a relatively muted re-election campaign.

What he's saying: During a speech celebrating his win, the Republican governor said his mission as governor was to offer "more opportunity for all of Tennesseans."

  • He said infrastructure would be a top priority moving forward.
  • "There is too much congestion, too much traffic and too many potholes. We are simply not building enough and maintaining enough roads in this state to keep up with the incredible growth that's happening."

Zoom in: Martin, a Middle Tennessee doctor, and his campaign had criticized Lee's positions on school vouchers, abortion and COVID-19 restrictions.

  • But Lee emerged victorious, boosted by consistent popularity and Tennessee's robust conservative voting base.

Between the lines: The governor largely sidestepped typical campaigning and declined to debate Martin.

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