Republicans

DesJarlais spurns debate with GOP challenger who voted for Clinton (as Rush Limbaugh suggested)

U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais has turned down a debate challenge from Republican challenger Jack Maddux in the 4th Congressional District on grounds he has voted for Hillary Clinton and is thus not a credible candidate, reports the Cleveland Daily Banner.  Maddux acknowledges he did so, but says that was at the request of radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

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Mae Beavers endorses Bill Lee for GOP gubernatorial nomination

Former state Sen. Mae Beavers of Mount Juliet, who abandoned a run for the Republican gubernatorial nomination earlier this year and is now running for mayor of Wilson County, has endorsed Williamson County businessman Bill Lee in the governor’s race.

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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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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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House GOP drops effort to revive anti-Nazi resolution

House Republicans won’t be pursuing their own resolution to denounce neo-Nazis after they previously helped kill a Democratic measure to do so.

Rep. John Ray Clemmons (D-Nashville) saw his resolution fail last month when it failed to receive a second in the Republican-controlled House State Government Committee last month. The Tennessean reported last week that House Republican Caucus Chairman Ryan Williams (R-Cookeville) planned to bring forward a nearly identical measure.

But Williams declined to promote the measure in a meeting of the House Delayed Bills Committee on Tuesday, meaning that it won’t proceed this session.

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