McMINNVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Governor Bill Lee’s choice not to debate ahead of the November election has repeatedly been a point of contention. “I’m most focused on being the governor right now,” Lee said to a gaggle of reporters on Oct. 11.
But this week, Lee finally gave a little more insight on his choice not to debate Democrat challenger Dr. Jason Martin.
“Every candidate has to decide how they’re going to spend their weeks. I’m out here today, I was in Lake County earlier this morning,” Lee said. “I’m focused on being the governor. I think that’s the most important thing I can do throughout these next weeks to stay focused on the things that we’ve done the last four years and for the next four.”
Election aside, Tennessee’s capital had plenty of political news and tension after the city of Nashville declined to apply for the 2028 Republican National Convention last week.
“The council, responsibly, should be interested in economic activity for the city, politics aside,” Lee said. “This is about economic activity, and we need to make sure that’s the thrust that all of us are looking to do.”
Also in Nashville, Mayor John Cooper announced an agreement 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 gets the most bang for its buck.
“It’s an investment in economic development, which is really an investment in jobs and opportunities for people,” he said. “We’ll have to be very certain that there’s accountability in this process to make sure taxpayers’ dollars are wisely spent. But it’s an investment that will be good for the city.”
Finally, Lee was at the Tennessee-Alabama game last Saturday. Though his alma mater – Auburn – lost by two scores to Ole Miss, the Volunteers took down the Crimson Tide in an instant classic that Lee attended.
“It was unbelievable, what a great game that was,” he said, smiling. “Haven’t seen that much excitement in a crowd in a long, long time. It’s just great for the state of Tennessee. Go Vols.”
This is the only time Lee is expected to speak this week as he currently has no media availability through at least Sunday.