I had the opportunity to meet Bill and Maria Lee at the grand opening of his Chattanooga Campaign HQ. He delivered, what was by most accounts, a showstopper speech at the Statesman’s dinner in Nashville the night before. He and Maria should have been worn out, but if they were, they really showed very little sign of it. His energy level, for a guy that couldn’t have gotten more than a few hours of rest, was very impressive.
Now, to my recollection, I’ve never met a true contender for governor up close and personal like this. I honestly expected to see a guy, all business like, dressed to the nine’s in a suit and tie. But that’s not what I found at all. I found a down to earth guy in a flannel shirt and farm/work boots fixing to go knock doors. This pair of boots get worked too, you can tell. I also found a hard to miss good ole’ boy from Middle Tennessee. Not some fast talking politician, but a real guy, with an authentic smile.
But beside every great man is an even greater woman. I know that because I’m programmed to say it, lol. But, seriously, it’s absolutely true and you don’t have to look very far either. Maria is right there with him every step of the way. To me she was like that cool aunt you had growing up, you know the one that was always a great listener. The one that always had your back, yup that’s her. That’s the best way I can describe her, but I think that most that have met her would agree 100 percent.
These two, together with a team of dedicated campaign staff, have absolutely been lighting up The Great State of Tennessee. They’ve started in Mountain City, and have traveled to Memphis. Then back and forth, back and forth. I travel for a living and they run circles around me. Everyday, sometimes two or three times, they’re stopping at local establishments for meet and greets. It could be a Hardees, or a Cookie Jar Cafe. And every single time people just fall in love with the two of them, ask around. They just light up rural Tennessee with their vision and promise. Their authenticity shows through time and time again. They’re absolutely, without any doubt, the real deals.
Bill Lee’s moral compass can not be mistaken. It’s True North if you’ve ever seen it. His right is right and wrong is wrong morality is an absolute breath of fresh air. Especially if you’re sick of politicians telling you one thing and doing the exact opposite. Like if the exact opposite had a healthy donor behind it. All you have to do is watch the political commercials during prime time. Bill Lee’s opponents are tearing each other to shreds, its both ridiculous and disrespectful. We as Tennessean's shouldn’t put up with it. But not Bill Lee though, his commercials are about values and integrity; exactly what you would see when you meet him. He doesn’t have to worry about swinging in the dirt with his moral compass set at True North. It’s like career politicians are programmed to swing in the dirt, which is what makes Bill Lee so authentic. He just doesn’t do it.
So here’s the beauty of a down to earth feller like Bill Lee, he’s not a politician. He’s a business man that’s built a multi-million dollar company. He’s not doing this because of some special interest or to put a notch in his cap. I truly believe he is running for governor because in his heart he’s being called to do it. For all you atheists and non-believers out there, you probably won’t understand what I’m saying. That’s ok, I hope one day that you will. But as a God-fearing Christian, I truly believe Bill Lee is a blessing for our state at the perfect time.
So please, get out and vote early, just not often. Get out and vote for the best man for the job of running our state, vote Bill Lee. And if you get a chance, grab a copy of his book, “This Road I’m on.”
PS: If it’s any count, my eight-year-old son absolutely adores Bill Lee. He even told Randy Boyd so right before their debate at UTC. Gotta love the honesty of an eight year old...