Gov. Lee Endorses 2024 GOP Candidates For Tennessee House & Senate

Image Credit: Gov. Bill Lee / Facebook

The Tennessee Conservative [By Adelia Kirchner] –

As the 2024 election season continues to unfold, Gov. Bill Lee (R-TN) has taken the time to endorse several GOP candidates which, in the opinion of some conservatives, helps them know exactly who not to vote for.

“If I were a candidate running for office as a conservative, the LAST thing I would want is an endorsement from @GovBillLee,” wrote Executive Director of Tennessee Stands, Gary Humble.

The Tennessee Conservative’s 2022 RINO Report previously distinguished Gov. Lee, alongside State Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn, as the “Executive Branch RINOs” for that year.

Gov. Lee was also the sole executive branch official to earn this same distinction in The Tennessee Conservative’s 2023 RINO Report

On Thursday, Gov. Lee publicly announced his endorsement of Jason Emert, Lee Reeves and Aron Maberry for the Tennessee House of Representatives.

“Tennessee needs strong conservative leaders in the General Assembly who will work to champion limited government, individual liberty & school choice for families,” Gov. Lee wrote on social media, “Proud to support @JasonEmert, @LeeReevesTN & @AronMaberry to serve in the @tnhousegop.”

These three GOP candidates were previously endorsed by Americans for Prosperity Action and reportedly support Gov. Lee’s plans for school vouchers.

When asked if he would be a single-issue endorser leading up to the August primaries Gov. Lee said, “[School choice is] a priority issue for me. Certainly, it weighs heavily in the decisions around who I’m going to be supportive of. Yes, I’m asking people how they feel about every issue, and in particular, I ask them what’s their views for education freedom in this state. It shapes my input in their races.”

Gov. Lee endorses Jason Emert for House District 20 – Blount County.

Former Young Republicans National Federation Chair, Jason Emert, is running to fill the House seat left vacant by current conservative Rep. Bryan Richey (R-Maryville-District 20) who is running for the open seat in Senate District 2.

Gov. Lee stated that Emert is a “strong conservative…who will work to expand opportunity for Tennessee families by empowering parents with school choice.”

Emert faces self-proclaimed conservative challengers Nick Bright and Tom Stinnett in the District 20 House race.

Gov. Lee Endorses Lee Reeves for House District 65 – Williamson County.

Real estate lawyer Lee Reeves, is running to fill the House seat left vacant by current RINO Rep. Sam Whitson (R-Franklin-District 65) who is retiring at the end of his term.

“Lee Reeves is a principled man of character who will work in the General Assembly to champion limited government, individual liberty and school choice for Tennessee families,” Gov. Lee stated in his endorsement of Reeves.

Reeves faces GOP challenger Brian Beathard and conservative challenger Michelle Foreman, the former of which has been endorsed by Rep. Whitson, in the District 65 House race.

Gov. Lee Endorses Aron Maberry for House District 68 – Montgomery County.

Montgomery County School Board Member and Next-Gen Pastor at Mosaic Church in Clarksville, Aron Maberry, is running to fill the House seat left vacant by current Rep. Curtis Johnson (R-Clarskville-District 68) who is retiring at the end of his term.

“Aron Maberry is a dedicated public servant and conservative champion who stands for parental rights and will work hard to deliver opportunity, security and freedom for Tennesseans, including school choice for every Tennessee family,” Gov. Lee stated. “Aron will represent Montgomery County with integrity, and I fully support his election to the General Assembly.”

Maberry faces GOP challengers Carol Duffin, Greg Gilman and Joe Smith in the District 68 House race.

Additional candidates being backed by Gov. Lee include:

• Rep. Scott Cepicky (R-Culleoka-District 64) who faces GOP challenger Ray Jeter.

• Rep. John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge-District 33) who faces GOP challenger Rick Scarbrough.

• RINO incumbent Sen. Ferrell Haile (R-Gallatin-District 18) who faces conservative challenger Chris Spencer.

• RINO incumbent Sen. Jon Lundberg (R-Bristol-District 4) who faces GOP challenger Bobby Harshbarger.

About the Author: Adelia Kirchner is a Tennessee resident and reporter for the Tennessee Conservative. Currently the host of Subtle Rampage Podcast, she has also worked for the South Dakota State Legislature and interned for Senator Bill Hagerty’s Office in Nashville, Tennessee. You can reach Adelia at adelia@tennesseeconservativenews.com.

7 thoughts on “Gov. Lee Endorses 2024 GOP Candidates For Tennessee House & Senate

  • June 11, 2024 at 4:09 pm
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    Great article, Adelia! Our leaders should always know that they are accountable to the people. In this article, you point out that the governor has made another huge mistake by getting involved in these primaries. It is just another hint that he prefers to ‘choose’ candidates, rather than allow the people to do so, and more importantly that, he is getting really sorry advice! As a long time voter in the 65th, the REAL conservative is obvious to me! It is also obvious Governor Lee has chosen the least conservative, the least likely candidate to win this race and, more importantly the candidate that has ‘agreed’ to support his next legislative priority – the poorly written school choice bill. By and large, the majority of people, even conservatives in his home county, DO NOT support his brand of parental choice for schools! Most support school choice…let parents decide, but Lee’s version is not optimal. He is painting his bill as a panacea for the people. It is not. In fact, is far from what we need. His endorsement of some of these candidates and subsequent loses at the ballot box, based on their naive, carte blanche support of his school choice bill, will prove it. Voters need to find out for themselves who is the most conservative candidate based on tract record, not an endorsement from a RINO.

    Reply
    • June 11, 2024 at 5:26 pm
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      Now Victor, surely we can agree that the “least conservative” candidate in the 65th is Brian Beathard who has been endorsed by Worthless Sam Whitson (TLRC-71/F) and at least was honest enough to admit he will NOT support closing the primaries during last week’s forum. This is perfectly understandable insofar as Beathard wants to make it as easy as possible for Democrats to pour into Republican primaries to vote for the least conservative candidate like, well, Brian Beathard beginning next month.

      Gov. Lee is awful, as was Gov. Haslam before him, but the answer is for conservatives to stop being suckers for rich candidates with little/no conservative credentials buying high office in this state. But like a broken clock, Lee is occasionally right. His obsession to begin getting the government out of the education/indoctrination business through vouchers is one of those times for it is a cause that has been near and dear to conservatives for many years. Lee set the goal and encouraged the General Assembly to pursue it which resulted in the Senate and House writing two bills that could not be reconciled. That, together with the fact that there are too many centrists/tepid conservatives who regard government schools as some sort of religious icon and the very powerful Government School Trust that strongly advocates for government schools resulted in the failure of that endeavor this time. With more conservatives in the legislature that goal will be achieved when it is brought up again in January.

      Which brings me to the more conservatives part. Unfortunately, Lee Reeves and Michelle Foreman didn’t sit down together and flip a coin so that we conservatives can all support one of them to BEAT BRIAN BEATHARD. So we have to choose, which makes Brian and his fans very happy. Between the two it is Lee who just wants to get on with getting the government out of education rather than letting the perfect be the enemy of the good in finding excuses as to why it can’t be done. It is Lee who during the debates showed the most impatience with centrist/tepid conservatives like Beathard playacting conservative while running for office. That’s why I believe that it is Lee Reeves who would be the best choice, though I will be overjoyed if it turns out that it is Michelle Foreman who succeeds Worthless Sam Whitson as Representative for the 65th District..

      Reply
  • June 11, 2024 at 5:13 pm
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    I have to agree with Gary Humble. I would not vote for anyone that Lee is endorsing because he only endorses candidates that will carry his water and push his agenda. I believe they will owe Lee big time for this endorsement.

    Reply
    • June 11, 2024 at 5:59 pm
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      Which Karen would result in you opposing Scott Cepicky (TLRC 87/B-), one of the brightest arch conservatives in the General Assembly who is determined to give parents who don’t have the money for private schooling or the time for home schooling the ability to get out from under the heel of government schooling as Chairman of the House Education Instruction Subcommittee. That’s Scott Cepicky who voted AGAINST the 2021 incentive package that brought Ford to West Tennessee.

      We both agree with Gary Humble most of the time and hopefully you, like me, didn’t support Gov. Lee in 2018, we both don’t support him most of the time now, and we certainly don’t want to vote for anyone like him in 2026, but reflexively being against anyone Lee is for is not a very good way to eliminate a candidate from consideration I don’t believe.

      Reply
  • June 11, 2024 at 5:21 pm
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    I mused some time ago about who would ever ask Bill Lee for an endorsement or financial support since I consider the taint of Bill Lee to be a ‘kiss of death’ for the campaign of any incumbent or challenger.

    I have not forgotten the days of ‘Lockdown Lee’ and and I have not forgotten his most recent special legislative session where he sought to further strip rights from Tennesseans.

    Every incumbent supported by Bill Lee has a well-demonstrated past of making government larger and more intrusive into the lives of Tennesseans. At least one of them has been involved in really perverse things regarding support for the gender status manipulation of mentally-disturbed people.

    Every new candidate or challenger supported by Bill Lee should be treated with extreme suspicion and continually questioned about his plans and values.

    Reply
    • June 12, 2024 at 7:12 pm
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      Exactly Robert. If they have Lees endorsement “run”.

      Reply
  • June 11, 2024 at 9:38 pm
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    Well Stuart you had me convinced to vote for Reeves just because he’s out there more and I know the libs will vote in the Repub primary and go for Breathard. I do wish Foreman and Reeves could have negotiated this down to one of them. I like Foremans’ stance on some issues more than Reeves. And Reeves has only lived here since 2019, It’s probably going to be a flip of a coin for me between the two. I hate voting for anyone that Lee endorses. But I have not ruled out Reeves.

    Reply

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