Tennessee Gov-elect Lee announces transition team

November 8, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov.-elect Bill Lee announced Thursday that he’s tapped Nashville businessman Butch Eley to run his transition team.

Eley served on Lee’s business advisory campaign coalition. Before that, he was the chief growth officer of DBI Services and founder of Infrastructure Corporation of America. He also served in former Nashville Mayor Bill Boner’s administration as director of economic and community development.

Eley will be assisted by Lee’s general consultant Blake Harris and campaign manager Chris Devaney, former chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party and former senior aide to U.S. Sen. Bob Corker.

“Now that the campaign is over, it is time to get to work,” Lee said in a statement. “I’ve said throughout the campaign that I’m looking for talented individuals who can help Tennessee thrive.”

Lee, owner of the Franklin-based Lee Company, defeated Democrat Karl Dean this week in the race to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Bill Haslam.

Campaign finance chairman Stuart McWhorter was named to head up the organization of Lee’s inauguration on Jan. 19. Fundraiser Kim Kaegi will serve as executive director of Lee’s inaugural committee.

Meanwhile, Lee’s campaign spokeswoman Laine Arnold will now serve as his transition press secretary.

Along with announcing his new transition team leaders, Lee unveiled a new transition website outlining his policy priorities — which include reforming the state’s criminal justice system, lowering health care costs, improving education and creating new jobs.

The list included an announcement of a new plan not to allow any new laws be signed without first inviting the public to submit comments on the legislation. Lee also promised to lead “a complete overhaul” on the state’s open records and open meeting laws. It’s not yet clear what exactly Lee would change.