Republicans

In GOP debate, candidates for governor back Trump immigration policy, dispute Lee’s claim to be the ‘only outsider’

The leading Republican candidates for Tennessee governor tried not to second-guess President Donald Trump during a debate Wednesday night, including pledging support for his administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, according to the Associated Press report.

At the debate, House Speaker Beth Harwell, ex-state economic development commissioner Randy Boyd and businessman Bill Lee blamed congressional inaction for the migrant family separations that have sparked recent public outrage. The statements likely took aim at U.S. Rep. Diane Black, who instead took a stance similar to Trump by blaming Democrats. She said Democrats are not supporting construction of a border wall.

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Bredesen berated at TNGOP fundraiser that brought in $760K

In Friday night speeches to the Tennessee Republican Party’s annual Statesmen’s Dinner, U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Marsha Blackburn criticized former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen and praised President Donald Trump. The state GOP collected more than $750,000 at the fundraising event. Continue reading

Alexander joins Cruz in seeking an agenda for Republican U.S. senators

Under the headline “GOP senators need an agenda — so they’re doing a poll,” Politico reports Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander and Texas Sen. Ted have been quietly circulating an unusual “survey” of their colleagues in recent weeks asking about their level of support for dozens of legislative proposals, some of them highly controversial.

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With an eye on becoming House speaker, Casada budgets $200K to help elect favored Republican reps

House Majority Leader Glen Casada has budgeted more than $200,000 in spending by his political action committee as part of an “aggressive strategy” to elect Republican representatives this year and —  perhaps not so coincidentally – help him get elected as the House speaker by those winning the races, reports Andy Sher.

Casada is one of at least four current Republican legislators eyeing a run to succeed current House Speaker Beth Harwell, who is not seeking reelection to the House this year and instead running for governor. The other three are Rep. Gerald McCormick, a former majority leader; House Speaker Pro Tempore Curtis Johnson and Rep. David Hawk, currently assistant majority leader.

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PolitiFact rates TNGOP Bredesen-bashing press release as ‘half true’

PolitiFact has deemed “half true” a Tennessee Republican Party press release denouncing Democrat Phil Bredesen TV ad that boasts of his record in recruiting economic development while governor, including creation of 200,000 new jobs. It’s a bit of an oddity in that the ad itself is not given a truth rating, as PolitiFact often does on political advertising claims.

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Nashville no longer interested in hosting 2020 Republican National Convention

Nashville has dropped the idea of hosting the Republican National Convention, reports Michael Collins, following up on an article in The Hill listing Tennesse’s capitol city among several others around the nation doing the same. Apparently, the cost of providing security  is a leading concern.

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Shelby GOP disavows local candidate with ties to white nationalist group

The Shelby County Republican Party is disavowing Keith Alexander, the property assessor candidate with white nationalist ties, reports the Commercial Appeal. Alexander’s name has been dropped from membership roll and  a $25 donation he made was refunded.

And, if Alexander wins Tuesday’s primary election, local GOP Chairman Lee Mills would want Alexander removed and candidate Robert “Chip” Trouy to fill the Republican spot in the August county general election.. Alexander and Trouy are the only Republicans seeking the party’s nod for assessor.

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RGA reserves $2.2M worth of TV ad time to back TN gubernatorial nominee this fall

The Republican Governors Association is reserving $2.2 million in television advertising time help elect the party’s nominee for governor in this fall’s campaign, according to an item in a Politico roundup. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is currently chairman of the RGA.

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Democrats have fielded candidates in almost all state House and Senate races

Democrats have filed as candidates for almost all seats in a Tennessee General Assembly that is now controlled by a Republican Supermajority and party leaders say that sets up more contested partisan legislative races than they can remember from recent history.

By the party’s initial count, there were Democratic candidates running in 97 of the 99 state House seats and 15 of the 17 Senate seats that are on the November, 2018,  general election ballot. But a final review of qualifying petitions indicates there are three Republicans each in the Senate and House with no Democrat qualifying to oppose them.

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Blackburn gets new GOP primary opponent; says he’ll spend $5M

Citing fears that U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn could lose to former Gov. Phil Bredesen in November, Williamson County businessman Darrell Lynn has declared himself a candidate for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination, reports The Tennessean. Lynn says he prepared to spend $5 million in personal funds on the campaign.

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