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Bill Lee wins Tennessee governor’s race over Karl Dean

Republican Bill Lee has won the Tennessee governor's race over Democrat Karl Dean, the AP reports.

Republican businessman and political newcomer Bill Lee will become Tennessee’s next governor, replacing outgoing GOP Gov. Bill Haslam.

Lee won Tuesday’s election against former Democratic Nashville Mayor Karl Dean.

Dean conceded in a speech at 8:45.

Lee is chairman of a Franklin mechanical contracting, facilities and home services company. His positive campaigning and religious faith became defining characteristics of his election bid, although he’s faced criticism for not providing specific details on key policy positions.

Lee has promised to work to fix the state’s health care system, saying it may take 15 to 20 years. Unlike Dean, the Republican said he would ultimately lobby the Tennessee Legislature to vote against Medicaid expansion, should lawmakers ever get close to doing so.

Lee also says he supports school choice, a position his opponents say will result in school vouchers.