Governor candidate Bill Lee visits Van Buren County

By | June 28, 2018 1:09 pm

Bill Lee, Republican candidate for governor of Tennessee, talks with some area residents during his recent visit to Van Buren County.

By Hansel Moore, contributor

The Van Buren Republican Party hosted Bill Lee, a republican candidate for Tennessee governor. Lee and his wife, Maria, returned to the building in which the decision to run for governor was first publicly announced.

“Last year, after much prayer and consideration, I decided to run for governor and help improve the quality of life for 6.5 millions Tennesseans,” said Bill Lee. “We chose Van Buren County, an agricultural county, to begin our RV tour of 95 counties. Coming back here today is like coming home.”

County Mayor Greg Wilson welcomed Bill Lee and his team to Van Buren and introduced him to the crowd. A video history shared sequential events of Bill Lee’s life path. From his deep seven-generation, rural Tennessee roots to becoming the CEO of a company that employees over 1,200 skilled workers. “

He shared the following insights:

  • “We have ignored vocational, technical and agriculture education way too long in this country… we have do something.   We can’t fill the positions that we have for trade positions that we have.”
  • “Agriculture is 13 percent of the economy, it is a significant part of who we are yet it doesn’t seem to get a lot of focus from a economic or education standpoint.”
  • “What happens in rural Tennessee affects everyone in the state. I have a deep love for rural Tennessee and we are at risk for losing the way of life if next governor does nothing about it. I have a commitment to small towns that need to be focused on.”
  • “It’s pretty simple… People want a good job, they want a good school for their kids, and a safe place to live”
  • “The thing about government meant is that it is out of touch with people like you and me… because it has been run by the same people forever.”
  • “My Faith in Christ is the most important thing in my life and that will never change. In fact, it’s magnified every day.”
  • “Faith, family and community are not old fashion values… those are critical if we are going to get where we want to go”.
  • “Government is not the answer; it is often times the problem.“

Bill Lee did take the time to answer question and share a copy of his book, “This Road I’m on – The Power of Hope in the Face of Adversity” with those in attendance.

Healthcare is a issue that continues to affect millions. What solutions do you provide for healthcare?

“We have a healthcare system that is fundamentally broken; payers, provider, and patients or the 3P’s… for them there is no incentive to lower cost. Until we have patient accountability and we drive healthy behavior, we won’t be able to lower the cost… we need to look at the expansion of the scope of rural providers so that nurses and nurse practitioners can provide more services in rural communities where there are less physicians. We can increase residencies in rural communities so that this is where primary care physicians end up. We need to change the rules and regulations around the health system. We have to address health if we are going to address healthcare… patients should be rewarded from making healthy choices.”

What are your thoughts on a border wall?

“Build it. Congress should fund it… it just astonishes me that we have a Republican congress, a president who wants it, and Republican control, and we don’t have the funding to build it”

Do you have a plan for the veteran community of Tennessee?

“In my business, I have developed relationships with a number of non-profit organizations that were focused on training veterans. Veterans have so many skills that could be utilized. They have a strong work ethic … sometimes they just need some additional hard skills which can be better utilized in the job market.”

How do you propose dealing with people who will disagree with you as governor?

“In leadership in business we pull everyone to the table and decide the direction that we all want to go and that is the framework for building a plan to get there. We do it in business all the time.”

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