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Bill Lee cruises to an easy win to become Tennessee's next governor

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Republican Bill Lee will be Tennessee’s next Governor.

Lee trounced Nashville Democrat Karl Dean in the race to succeed term-limited governor Bill Haslam.

In his victory speech Tuesday night, the Franklin Businessman spoke directly to the 900,000 Tennesseans who did not vote for him.

“I care about you, and I care about your family, and I’m going to do everything I can for those who didn’t vote for me to ultimately make me proud that I am their governor.”

Final totals aren’t available yet, but all indications are Tuesday’s voter turnout was the largest for a mid-term election in a generation. In his concession speech late Tuesday, Karl Dean told supporters he was pleased the race had energized Tennesseans.

“Throughout this campaign I talked about the fact in 2016 that our state was 50th in voter turnout. Well we weren’t 50th in voter turnout tonight.”

Dean lost to Bill Lee by 21 percentage points.