24 of 27 Senate Republicans agree: Trump should challenge outcome

The Tennessee Senate meets on June 1, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

The Senate Republican Caucus is voicing support for President Donald Trump’s efforts to challenge his re-election loss to Democrat Joe Biden. A letter to this effect has been signed by 24 of 27 GOP members — all but Sens. Richard Briggs of Knoxville, Todd Gardenhire of Chattanooga, and Brian Kelsey of Germantown.

Briggs and Kelsey face potentially tough re-election campaigns in two years. Gardenhire just won another four-year term last week.

Here’s the letter:

Dear Tennessee Voters,

The Tennessee Senate Republican Caucus stands absolutely and unequivocally with President Donald J. Trump as he contests the unofficial results of the Presidential Election of 2020.

While this election may have been “called” by various media outlets, the election process is far from over. This election was extremely close in multiple states across the country. The coronavirus pandemic led to an extraordinary amount of absentee ballots and voting by mail. We believe that, due to unprecedented mail-in voting and razor-thin margins in multiple states, the ultimate result remains uncertain.

There have been reports of irregularities in many critical states such as Michigan, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania. Until these irregularities have been thoroughly investigated and court appeals have been exhausted, no winner should be declared.

This is not an unprecedented situation. In 2000, the Presidential election result was not clear until December 13. This was after several recounts and court challenges. President Trump has at least another month to contest this election through recounts and litigation, as Al Gore did. We support him in this effort to ensure the integrity of our election process is preserved.

This is an important election. There is no reason to come to a premature conclusion with this many lingering questions. While the results of most presidential elections are clear on or around election day, the results become official only when the presidential electors vote in December. President Trump has a right to challenge the results of this election until at least that point.

We support him in doing so and encourage all Tennesseans and Americans to be patient until the result of this election can be determined.

Sincerely,

/signed/

Lt. Governor Randy McNally

Jack Johnson

Ken Yager

Ferrell Haile

Paul Bailey

Mike Bell

Rusty Crowe

Becky Massey

Steve Southerland

Bo Watson

Janice Bowling

Joey Hensley

Ed Jackson

Jon Lundberg

Frank Niceley

Mark Pody

Bill Powers

Shane Reeves

Kerry Roberts

Paul Rose

John Stevens

Art Swann

Page Walley

Dawn White

47 Responses to 24 of 27 Senate Republicans agree: Trump should challenge outcome

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    Leeann C says:

    Amen! Thank you Senators!

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    Cannoneer2 says:

    The results aren’t even close. Move on to something more productive. The Senate can still be salvaged with focus!

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      Jonathan Swiftt says:

      Exactly. If they think fighting this losing battle is the best use of their time (and our representation), they are as much of a disgrace as the Lame Duck Pumpkin-in-Chief himself. I hope that Gardenhire actually disagreed with this letter, instead of not getting an opportunity to sign it.

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    Fran Tyson says:

    Thank you for standing strong for voting integrity

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    Jane says:

    This is just embarrassing and has zero validity. I challenge you to produce an iota of evidence for these claims, which are obviously a reaction of fear of the current administration. Grow a backbone and do the right thing!

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      What a strange response. Jane, do you know what the word “validity” means? I ask because I am puzzled as to how a letter of support for someone pursuing his legal remedies can or cannot have “validity.” Further, who exactly are you challenging to “. . .produce an iota of evidence for these claims?” Are you so far in liberal la-la land that you feel there is not “an iota of evidence” of fraud, corruption and mismanagement in the electoral processes that take place in historically corrupt and dreadfully mismanaged cities like Philadelphia?

      The only fear that “the current administration” has is that it has been deprived of a second term through Democratic election fraud and electoral mismanagement by election officials so they are gathering evidence of that corruption which they would like the courts to examine. If that’s OK with you, of course.

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        Denise Scherer says:

        I believe she is referring to the reckless and false claims being made by trump and the GOP that there is election fraud. So far most of their court cases have failed because they have no substantiated evidence of election or voter fraud. To win in court, there must be a basis for the complaint and trump and the GOP have failed to produce any. Except for the postal worker who the Republicans paid $130,000 and who recanted very quickly when questioned by law enforcement. He found out it’s a felony and he’s facing criminal charges.

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          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          It’s hard to know what Jane is thinking Denise other than the fact that it is a thought process accompanied by anger of which, I’m afraid, there has been no shortage of in this country for the last decade. Jane is asking for the Senate Republicans to “Grow a backbone and do the right thing!” when all they are doing is cheering their fellow Republicans on in their attempt to make certain the very close elections in a number of swing states were conducted in a lawful, fair and honest manner. Such vitriol directed at those who are simply in the stands cheering their team on is a bit over the top and bespeaks a certain nervousness about courts looking too closely at the notorious election shenanigans in Democratic run dystopias that have been going on for so long that they are part of the folklore of American elections and are simply accepted as part of the process we use to elect our officials.

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      David Collins says:

      Well said, Jane. Not only are these idiots lacking a backbone they are also lacking a brain! What an insult to the hundreds and thousands of individuals across this country who do the thankless job of counting our ballots. They sure aren’t doing it for the money, in fact, in many counties the people are not paid at all–they volunteer to do it because they feel it a civic duty and/or privilege to help the wheels of democracy keep turning. To these “senators” I ask, WHERE IS YOUR PROOF?!?!?

      Are they concluding that because the majority of voters saw fit not to re-elect a pathological liar for another term–is that their proof? I cannot believe these people are that stupid. The only other explanation for their actions, other than rank stupidity, is that they want to pander to their base so they won’t get “primarried” out of office at the next primary election. What a pathetic group. This state is truly in trouble if this represents the caliber of “intellect” in our state senate.

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    Taxpayer #314 says:

    More of the same garbage from the republicans. They are following trump like zombies right down into total disgrace. There is no proof and the point is moot as there is a large margin in the vote count. They just will not accept the results. Stewart wants to blame it on that nasty ole Philly, he just “knows” they are corrupt. The black vote in Philly is what put Biden over the top and PA put Biden in the WH with the electoral college vote but some folks just don’t want to accept that hard reality. There is NO evidence of any voter fraud and they know that. The rats are jumping ship and trump & Barr are getting desperate but apparently the message did not get out to TN yet.

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    Jane says:

    Not sure if you trust the Wall Street Journal. BTW yes I know what validity is and it’s a nice word for what is happening: WSJ on Sunday:
    GOP leaders’ deference to Mr. Trump’s position reflects the popularity he maintains with GOP voters. Strategists from both parties said this week that Mr. Trump’s presence on the ballot helped Republicans gain seats in the House and likely keep control of the Senate, even as he lost his own re-election race.

    Congressional GOP leaders are “still in fear of Donald Trump. They’re afraid of his influence within the party, they’re afraid of being targeted by him, they’re afraid of going crosswise against his supporters,” Peter Wehner, a critic of Mr. Trump who worked in three previous GOP administrations, said Sunday.

    Does this fit your narrative?

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      We have a two party system like all countries with a first-past-the-post electoral system. In this country that is about 325 million of us that manage to wedge ourselves into one of the two parties despite all of our differences. Thus, each party is made up of a coalition of groups who sometime disagree with one another about the solution to one or more problems facing the country.

      I have never been a Trumpidian but they certainly now make up part of the coalition that is the Republican Party and the Party would like them to remain in the party after Trump and individual Republican officeholders would like the votes of Trumpidians as well. Is any of this surprising to anyone? Is there anything about any of this that is bad or a reason to be scornful by you calling for officeholders acting pursuant to these ordinary political facts to “Grow a backbone and do the right thing” just because you don’t like anything “Republican.”

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        Jane says:

        When did I say I don’t like anything Republican?
        I like this: rvat.org

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          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          I spent over a lot of money so Ted Cruz would be the Republican nominee rather than Trump so while I sympathize with your feelings, the majority of Republicans chose Trump and it wasn’t particularly close. In our two party system in 2020 when it came down to Trump/Pence vs. Biden and his far left heir apparent and their leftist supporters, no question I had to vote for Trump.

          As a conservative I feel the trick now is to make the Republican Party more conservative and gaining back the votes of the Never Trumpers like yourself while holding onto the votes of the Trumpidians. The first step in achieving that is to gather all the evidence of vote irregularities that we can, present them to the courts and follow the judgement of the judiciary. After letting that process run its course and thus satisfying the Trumpidians while doing all we can to win the two Georgia runoffs, we can then hopefully turn our attention to retaking the House and extending our control in the Senate in 2022.

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            Jane says:

            Okay Stu you can have your way. The base you are pandering to may have the votes but I have a voice. See you and Governor Lee in 2022.

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    Taxpayer #314 says:

    Trump is forming a new PAC that will allow him to maintain influence with the GOP even after he leaves office. He can use this as a slush fund moving on because he doesn’t have any type of steady income as most of his businesses are bankrupt and leveraged for loans. Every single legal case he has brought so far (to a court that is stacked in his favor) has immediately been thrown out of court for lack of merit. He doesn’t even offer any evidence to the courts. He refuses to accept the inevitable and the TN (R)’s can back him all they want but the ship is sinking, republicans need to stop backing criminals.

    • Avatar
      Cannoneer2 says:

      With apologies to the Bull Moose Party modification, Trump could create the Bull Elk Party for himself.

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        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        No Cannoneer, if Republicans are smart they will fashion a party that embraces a pan ethnic coalition of small government ideological conservatives along with patriotic culturally conservative middle and lower middle working class voters. Trumpism without the boorishness of Trump. That’s my vision Cannoneer, isn’t it beautiful?

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          James White says:

          New flash Stuart, the Republican party is drifting to the left, no mater how much money you keep sending to deep-state candidates. You are confusing Republicans with Conservatives again, and it is costing you money. Republicans and small government is an oxymoron.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Perhaps you are right. As the Democratic Party moves relentlessly to the left it is only reasonable to expect Republican Party officials and office holders who are nothing but Chamber of Commerce shills to see an opportunity to move to the center-left to fill the space formerly occupied by more moderate Democrats.

            The way to stop this undesirable movement is by voters shunning the left fringe of both parties like they did in the 2020 elections regarding the left wing of the Democratic Party. That’s where you come in James. Instead of wasting your political efforts in the nowhere land of third party/independent politics in our two party system you should join me in supporting stalwart conservatives in Republican Primaries whose success in obtaining the Republican nomination followed up by success in the general election is the only way to move American politics and government to the right.

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            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Speaking of which, it looks as though we may have lucked out with the election of No Record Candidate Diana Harshbargar in Tennessee’s First Congressional District who persists in making most conservative noises even AFTER getting elected. Let’s say a Heritage-85% Harshbargar replaces the forgettable Phil Roe (Heritage-69%), now that’s a way to arrest any leftward drift in the Republican Party.

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          Cannoneer2 says:

          I wasn’t talking about a party for Republicans or conservatives, just a self centered Trump party for Trump.

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    Phillip Lassiter says:

    Kelsey probably keeping low profile and doesn’t want to anger the Justice Dept

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Don’t know about that Phillip but the great Brian Kelsey (ACU-89%) is in an unfortunate situation of having a district that is all too close to one of Tennessee’s liberal ghettos so he wisely refrains from needlessly exposing himself to criticism by being a signatory to a letter such as this. Thankfully with Tennessee redistricting firmly in the hands of Republicans some artful redrawing of Brian’s district will go a long way to easing his path to reelection.

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    Tammy Wagner says:

    Wow!! Beyond words!! The people have spoken and if our Representatives dont want to listen to what the people that votes them in have to say tban maybe we need to vote them out and vote in people that know that the work for us and not other politicians. I would have no problem with recounting the votes but to support this craziness and keep ot going is utterly ridiculous!!

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Were you lost for words in 2000 when the Democrats were engaging in “. . .craziness and keep[ing] ot (sic) going. . .” or does your temporary muteness only arise when Republicans go to court to vindicate their rights? Besides, the last time I looked Trump was victorious in Tennessee having received over 61% of the votes so our Representatives and Senators are doing exactly what a healthy majority of the people probably want them to do.

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    Taxpayer #314 says:

    This type of “easing his path to reelection” done by “artful redrawing” is exactly why the republicans are losing their base. This is a tactic know as gerrymandering. When it is done legally it allows the redrawing of a district to account for the population growth of the county. The republicans turn this into a dirty political trick to gain advantage for their party in any future election. The result of such redrawing makes for a jigsaw looking puzzle to split the vote in a manner as to favor one party, the party making up the rules. The courts have time and again ruled against gerrymandering when it is done for this type of unethical gain. This was addressed partially in the Voter Rights Bill but the Republicans abolished that bill when they got in power. The GOP is constantly trying to rig the system using voter suppression tactics using any and all unethical means to gain an advantage. This is exactly why voters are turning away from the GOP, they are tired of this behavior.

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      Phillip Lassiter says:

      Major idiot alert. Never mind the 150 years of Democrat gerrymandering gave us this mess. You are a typical Dem. Dems started and protracted slavery. Dems led the movements to continue segregation. Own up to it!!!! Republicans have been the ones fighting for minorities and freedoms against all the odds. You’re an idiot. First in line of the idiots

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      Former GOP Legislator says:

      This is priceless. In 1992, the dems controlled the TN House, Senate and Governorship. They also controlled redistricting. So, what did they do? Through blatant gerrymandering, they redrrew House district lines to place 12 sitting Republican House members into 6 newly drawn districts, effectively eliminating six Republican legislators from continued service.

      This was the common practice of the dems until they lost that control.

      It is hilarious for anyone to try to claim the GOP is solely guilty of gerrymandering.

      Is it willful ignorance or just plain lying? It is one or the other. It can’t be anything else.

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    MARLE says:

    Trump’s most significant loss of votes came from Men, College graduates, (and the sub-set age between 45-64 ~peak earning stage). In 2016 Trump won the group College men by +14. In 2020 that dropped to +1.

    This is the group most likely to be subjected to Biden’s tax increases but nonetheless POLICY issues, understood by this educated group, caused them to shift support.

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Sorry, I admit that it’s hard for me to imagine what these “Men, College graduates” could have been thinking but if I were to place a bet on the matter I would bet that PERSONALITY issues were foremost “. . .caus[ing] them to shift support.”

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        MARLE says:

        They were thinking, I believe from the few I talked with, that the whimsical, on-again/off again tariffs on semiconductors (just to use that as ONE small example) that roiled that sector of the market from July through August of 2019 as Trump did multiple 180’s on policy is just unnecessary, shows lack of strategy but lots of Whimsy and they are just simply exhausted by it.

        They knew his personality issues when they voted for him in 2016 as he put them on full display in debates and on the trail. So…it’s policy, much as you don’t want to believe it.

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    Taxpayer #314 says:

    It would not matter if the president had received 100% of the votes in TN, if he was/is asking the people to support his imaginary claims of victory, and asking the courts (he just stacked) to rule in his favor with zero evidence offered, then yes it is NOT something that one would expect any sane member of congress to believe or support. This is embarrassing for the republicans both in TN and around the country.

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    James White says:

    google: “A Sampling of Recent Election Fraud Cases from Across the United States” – Heritage
    “Donald Trump Lays Out Evidence of Mail-In Voting Fraud to Reporters” Breitbart
    “Democrat Insider Details Mail-In Voting Fraud Operation: ‘This Is a Real Thing’” Breitbart
    “Democrat Insider: Anti-Trump Postal Workers in GOP Neighborhoods Throw Mail-In Ballots in the Garbage” Breitbart
    “Mail-in Vote Fraud? THOUSANDS of Ballots May Be Missing in Just ONE County” New American
    “Voter Fraud: Pennsylvania Democrats Caught Throwing Out Trump Votes” New American

    • Avatar
      Jane says:

      How about some actual evidence instead of your Google search results? The attempt here is to cast doubt on the integrity of the democratic process. However all of you involved will only just damage your own integrity. Good luck with that in 2022. I will remember this in detail and see you then.

      I lived in Limbaugh country and I know Republicans. I have seen them growing angrier and meaner over the last few decades until it culminated in the current president’s election. As I tell my eight-year-old usually when you say something is the worst ever, this is hyperbole. However our president is literally the worst ever. Give up and move on or lose everyone that you count on by 2022.

      • Avatar
        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        Jane do you realize how silly you sound serially threatening someone or other about “2022” when even the most casual observer of Tennessee politics can’t fail to notice that with each election the Republican officeholders who are elected are much more conservative than the Republican (to say nothing about the few Democrats) officeholders they replace (e,g, Hagerty replacing Alexander, Rose vs. Black, Kustoff vs, Fincher etc.). The trend most definitely isn’t your friend Jane so why don’t you simply stop the threats that puts fear in the hearts of no one at all.

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    Jane says:

    Stu are you a robot? The AI seems pretty good but your regurgitated rhetoric is obviously not from a human with an informed opinion. I wasn’t even talking to you. But if you have anything else to say to me, please provide proof of these allegations of voter fraud. Or admit there’s none and deal with it.

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      No June I don’t have to do either because I have never alleged either though the Republicans are in the midst of acquiring signed affidavits from poll workers, poll watchers and others now amounting to hundreds of pages of testimony as to rampant voter fraud and mismanagement of ballot counts in a number of states so for you to keep on asserting that there is no evidence of such things gives you the credibility of “Bagdad Joe” who kept on telling reporters that there were no American troops in the city as American troops were marching down the street behind him.

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    Taxpayer #314 says:

    There is simply not a single shred of evidence that the “election officials in each state” have come up with as far as voter fraud is concerned. There are a LOT of republican fools shouting about all sorts of nonsense and Barr is opening another one of his ridiculous “go nowhere investigations” into finding the boogeyman but as of today, there has not been any evidence actually seen by any court. “Hundreds of pages” of republican’s wishful thinking.

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    James White says:

    The state courts or governors do not have authority to set how the electors are elected, only the state legislatures have this authority. The state legislatures of the questionable states need to convene and declare that the governor or state courts are invalid in their orders or rulings and have the votes counted according to current state law.
    Article I, Section 4, and Article II, Section 1, of the United States Constitution give state legislatures primary authority over federal elections, including the Electoral College. Our legislators must exercise this authority in light of the election chaos – they have unconstitutionally ceded this authority to courts and bureaucrats.

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  • Avatar
    Taxpayer #314 says:

    The only “election chaos” is on the republican side. The election is over. Biden won!

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    Jane says:

    Dear Tennessee Senators,

    I have sent President Elect Biden our congratulations and support.

    Your Welcome,
    Tennessee Voter

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    Charles says:

    Sore losers.

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