Gov. Lee announces leadership changes

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Governor-elect Bill Lee speaks during a news conference in the Capitol Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. Lee defeated Democrat Karl Dean in the gubernatorial race Tuesday. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Lee says his chief of staff and adviser Blake Harris is leaving to oversee the Republican’s reelection campaign, as well as assist in Republican Governors Association efforts.

According to a news release, Joseph Williams will take over the chief of staff role at the end of the year. Williams currently serves as the governor’s office director of external affairs.

“Blake’s leadership and friendship have been invaluable to Maria and me since the beginning of our campaign,” Lee, a Republican, said in a statement.

“We look forward to continued success as Joseph assumes chief of staff responsibilities and continues our efforts to serve Tennesseans well,” Lee added.

Meanwhile, Alex Richardson, the governor’s deputy chief of staff, will assume some of the responsibilities as the director of external affairs.

Both Williams and Richardson have been with Lee’s team since 2018.

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