Governor race full screen - Bill Lee and Karl Dean

Democrat Karl Dean (right) lost out to Republican Bill Lee (left) in the Tennessee governor's race on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

(WSMV) - Republican Bill Lee is claiming victor in the Tennessee governor's race, he gave an acceptance speech addressing supporters.

"The last 18 months have been some of the most extraordinary of my life," said Lee.

Lee addressed those who didn't vote for him, saying that he cares about them and their families, and is going to work hard to make all Tennesseans proud.

"I believe all Tennesseans have more that unites us than divides us," said Lee in his speech.

Lee also addressed Governor Bill Haslam, and said he was proud to follow in his footsteps.

Haslam released a statement congratulating Bill Lee for a "well-run race."

“Congratulations to Governor-elect Bill Lee on a well-run race. Tennesseans have made a great choice for our next governor. Bill Lee is a man with strong character and love for our state and will make the right decisions to keep Tennessee  moving forward. I am excited to see what this state will accomplish under his leadership."

Multiple sources projected Republican Bill Lee would be the winner in Tennessee's governor race, beating out Democratic candidate Karl Dean.

Dean conceded to Lee on Tuesday night, saying “I’m too old to cry and it hurts too much to laugh.”

Tennessee GOP released a statement congratulating Lee on his "overwhelming victory."

"Congratulations to Bill Lee on his overwhelming victory in becoming Tennessee’s 50th Governor,” said Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Scott Golden. “Bill’s victory tonight shows that Tennesseans in every community believe in him and his vision for the future. I have no doubt that Bill is the right man to lead our state from good to great as Tennessee’s chief executive.”

Senator Bob Corker tweeted his congratulations to both republican candidates, saying: 

"I called tonight to congratulate Bill and Marsha on their victories. As I shared with both of them privately, it has been my greatest privilege of my life to represent the people of Tennessee in the United States Senate, and I am committed to doing all I can to help them succeed in the days, months, and years ahead."

Lt. Governor Randy McNally made a statement congratulating Bill Lee on his campaign.

"I would like to congratulate Bill Lee on his victorious campaign for governor. After watching how Bill connects with people and inspires our citizens, I am convinced he is the perfect person to lead our state at this moment. We are in strong position as a state but there is more left to do. Bill is an executive and CEO who is just as comfortable on a farm or factory floor as he is in a boardroom. As a state, Tennessee is on the cusp of moving to the next level and truly leading the nation. Bill Lee is the next level leader who can take us there."

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Kim St. Onge joined the News4 team as a reporter in January 2017.

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