As Republican Bill Lee takes nothing for granted in the race for governor, his Democrat opponent Karl Dean claims to be gaining.
“We have had good news and I feel we are right in it,” said Dean on Tuesday after citing some unnamed private polling.
With a double-digit lead in the polls, some might think that Bill Lee’s road to the governor’s office is on cruise control, but not the candidate or his opponent.
“I say there is one poll that matters and that is Tuesday,” Lee said Thursday.
It was a slight update on the response he’s given for months about his lead in the polls.
The crowd Thursday in the very Republican Nashville suburb of Mt. Juliet likes Lee’s emphasis on more vocational technical training in K-12 education.
“We have ignored it for decades,” he said.
When asked for specifics after the speech Lee said, “Use the department of education, work with the legislature to bring about changes to look at the appropriate directed funding and most importantly engage with the private sector.”
Lee says companies could help kids learn relevant skills for their communities.
As for Democrat Dean, he wants to pay teachers more to keep them leaving for higher paying jobs, but he cites a reason why he has a shot despite what public polls say.
“People are paying attention more,” added Dean. “It’s getting down to election day and people are actually looking at the race more and figuring out who they are going to vote for and where people are on the issues and I think I am in line with where people are in Tennessee.”
We find out Tuesday.
Early Thursday afternoon, Dean said in Jackson that if elected, he would call a special session of the legislature in hopes of expanding Medicaid (TennCare) with federal Obamacare money.
He says it would mean 300,000 low-income Tennesseans get healthcare along with helping to keep rural hospitals open.