Ogles: AFP work provides ‘grassroots army ready to go’ against Corker

Andy Ogles, who declared himself a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate on Thursday, says he will rely on the network of support built up over four years as state director of Americans for Prosperity in a “hard-charging grassroots campaign” to unseat incumbent Sen. Bob Corker.

His comments came Friday on the Michael DelGiorno radio talk show on Nashville WWTN. The Ogles campaign issued a news release on DelGiorno’s enthusiastic endorsement of Ogles, which came during the conversation.

Ogles has resigned as state director of AFP, founded and at least previously funded by the wealthy staunchly conservative Koch brothers, and told DelGiorno that his biggest concern is losing health care insurance as a result.

“I’m not afraid of the amount of money Bob Corker has and I’m not afraid of the bad things he’s going to say about me,” Ogles said. “What terrifies me most is in two weeks my kids are not going to have health care and I’m going to have to go look on the exchange.”

AFP has crusaded against Obamacare and, in Tennessee, Ogles was heavily involved in the successful effort to kill Gov. Bill Haslam’s Medicaid expansion proposal. In the talk show appearance, Ogles said America has a “broken health care system” and “if you’ve been in Washington 10, 12, 14 years, you created that problem.”

AFP does not make endorsements in political campaigns, though it often does “educational” advertising that points out voting records and statements made by candidates that can be seen as supporting or opposing them. While he presumably won’t be getting an endorsement, Ogles said his work with the group gives him an advantage in the campaign.

“One of the great things about my previous role with AFP is I spent the last four years traveling the state talking to people, recruiting activists to fight on issues like health care, tax reform, defeating Common Core. To be able to leverage that that network and roll it right into a Senate campaign, no one else can do that,” he said. “I’ve got a built in grassroots army that’s ready to go.”

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