New Super PAC launches radio ads touting Lee as 'conservative outsider' in Tennessee GOP gubernatorial primary

Tennessee gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee answers a question during the Leadership Tennessee Gubernatorial Forum at Lipscomb University, Tuesday, May 15, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. (George Walker IV/The Tennessean via AP)

NASHVILLE - A new Super PAC supporting Tennessee Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee says it began airing radio ads today touting the Williamson County businessman as the "conservative outsider we need."

Tenn Values PAC spokesman Chris Butler said the 60-second spot is airing in East Tennessee in the Chattanooga, Knoxville and Tri-Cities markets. He declined to say how much the PAC is spending.

The ad describes Lee as a "conservative businessman, not a politician" and touts leadership as the head of Lee Company, which provides services ranging from construction to plumbing and HVAC services to homes, facilities and businesses.

"Bill Lee knows how to create jobs and solve problems, and its starts by making state government more accountable," the announcer says, later adding "Bill Lee will fight for term limits for the state legislature and he'll pass a five-year lobbying ban for former lawmakers to stop the influence peddling in Nashville."

A recent Vanderbilt University poll shows Lee was the least known among the four major Republican gubernatorial hopefuls with U.S. Rep. Diane Black of Gallatin, Knoxville businessman and former state economic commissioner Randy Boyd Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell all ahead.

Lee had only 33 percent name recognition, but 63 percent of those surveyed viewed him favorably.