Tim Lee, The Man Who Lured The Braves To Cobb County, Dies

Tim Lee, shown in 2013, served as chairman of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners from 2010 to 2017.

David Goldman / Associated Press file

The commission chairman who spearheaded the Atlanta Braves’ move to Cobb County has died.

Tim Lee, who served as chairman of the Board of Commissioners from 2010 to 2017, died Sunday afternoon following a “devastating” cancer diagnosis. Lee told 11Alive Tuesday that he had been fighting cancer of the esophagus for the past year.

County leaders reacted with shock and sadness.

Cobb Commission Chairman Mike Boyce said, “The county has lost a true leader and statesman who will long be remembered for his accomplishments and love of Cobb County.”

Boyce defeated Lee in July 2016 in a primary runoff election after Boyce had criticized Lee, saying the Braves deal lacked transparency and public input.

Lee later apologized for the way he handled the Braves deal, but he predicted in 2016 that it would pay off for the county and told his supporters he was confident about the decisions that were made under his leadership.

“My charter has been doing what I believe is best,” he said.

The Braves organization issued its condolences to Lee’s children, grandchildren and wife Annette through a Twitter statement Sunday, saying, “We are incredibly appreciative for the vision and leadership Tim showed throughout his tenure as Chairman of the Cobb County Commission, specifically the bold move of helping bring the Braves to Cobb County. The difficult decisions he made have paid off with the resurgence of growth throughout the county which have greatly benefited its residents and schools.”

After leaving public office in 2017, Lee took a job in North Georgia as the executive director of economic development at the Habersham County Partnership for Growth.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said on Twitter that he was “saddened” to hear the news.

He was a bold leader who made a huge impact in Cobb County and beyond. Our prayers are with his family and loved ones as they mourn.”

Flags at all Cobb County facilities will fly at half-staff until the former chairman’s burial. Funeral plans have not been formally announced.