LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – It’s not everyday the governor visits a small town.  It’s not every governor, especially in a non-election year, who opens himself up to rubbing elbows with voters and answers random questions off the cuff.  And it’s not every state that has a Bill Lee.  But Tennessee does, and Wednesday was Campbell County’s turn to host the first year governor.  WATCH HERE.

The Fields family hosted Lee, the First Lady, Maria, and friends in the restaurant atop McCloud Mountain.  Governor Lee wasted little time to brag on the impressive turnout.   “Every time I’ve come to Campbell County there have been great turnouts,” He said,

VERY TOP PHOTO:  Governor Bill Lee (left) meets 2 1/2 year old Cash Davis as Cash’s Papa Mark Hoskins (right) looks on.

Lee explained his run for governor came from his real desire to serve.  “The Lord gave us great favor to put us (he and Maria) in this spot (as governor),” said Tennessee’s 50th governor.  See more photos HERE.

For a rare change, the McCloud Mountain view took a back seat to the governor’s visit.

He emphasized “what happens in rural Tennessee matters.”  His first executive order was to strengthen 15 rural counties  requiring all state executive departments to issue a statement of rural impact and provide recommendations for better serving rural Tennessee.  Lee said,  “Our first executive order sends a clear message that rural areas will be prioritized across all departments as we work to improve coordination in our efforts.”

Lee (left) thanked Rep. Dennis Powers (right) and Sen. Ken Yager for their leadership for Campbell County. (PHOTO COURTESY OF CLARENCE LOWE)

Lee pointed to Tennessee’s outcomes when it comes to education saying we’re 38th out of 50.  “We want to be a leader in educational outcomes, and we have to invest in our school system.  We’re going to find ways to strengthen our schools,” said Lee.

Rep. Dennis Powers (off camera) drew the biggest laugh of the day when he keenly scanned the room calling out elected officials’ names making sure he didn’t miss anyone and appeared to be finished when after a pause he said, “Oh, and my mother-in-law Fleda Adkins is here.”  Senator Ken Yager (left) and Governor Bill Lee (right).

Of the upwards of 150 attendees, Gary Gray asked the first question of several questions when the floor was opened by the governor.  Gray asked where Lee stood on the heartbeat bill.  To applause, the governor said he would support the heartbeat bill.

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee (left) with La Follette Mayor Mike Stanfield.

La Follette Mayor Mike Stanfield, who spoke with Lee a couple of weeks ago by telephone, asked if there was anyway to get help from June’s historic flood.  Lee called it a very, very tough situation, and that he is looking to see what’s available and is requesting federal funds.

The governor stopped for a video beside the Daniel Boone-like figure overlooking Bungalow Hollow on McCloud Mountain.  See the video HERE.

WLAF’s Warren Kitts shares a photo of Governor Bill Lee during a video shoot at McCloud Mountain.

Stanley Heatherly ended Lee’s 24-minute talk with a comment rather than a question.  He commended Lee,  Powers and  Yager for the Bible class that’s now being taught for credit hours at Campbell County High School.  The loudest ovation of the day came when Lee responded to Heatherly saying, “Kids that live in Tennessee need to know why America is the most remarkable country in the world.”  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 07/11/2019-6AM)