On potential successors to Ryan Haynes as TNGOP chair

Bill Giannini, a former Shelby County Republican chairman who serves as deputy commissioner of the state Department of Commerce and Insurance, sent members of the state Republican Executive Committee an email Wednesday evening declaring himself a candidate to succeed Ryan Haynes as Tennessee Republican Party chairman.

Giannini, who also once served as Shelby County Election Commission chairman, is the first person to declare himself a candidate since reports of Haynes’ pending resignation became public. (Previous post HERE.)

Indeed, The Tennessean quotes Haynes as saying Wednesday “I haven’t made any kind of final decisions and will not until after Election Day.”

When asked why he thought the speculation about his pending departure was happening now, Haynes said he frequently gets job offers and he wouldn’t be surprised if “one of those has just broken loose.”

“As we move closer to the December meeting I just think interest in who is the chairman and who will be the next one starts to perk up,” Haynes said. “That’s why it’s circulating.”

Haynes, who was elected party chairman in April 2015, said he’d make a decision immediately after Tuesday.

The newspaper, citing “party insiders,” also mentions two potential candidates to succeed Haynes in the GOP chair — Republican Party Executive Director Brent Leatherwood and Scott Golden, a Jackson-based executive committee member who served as a field director for retiring GOP U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher. (Leatherwood said such speculation “is neither helpful for our candidates nor our cause” with an election pending; no comment from Golden.)

Cari Wade Gervin has more names (HERE) in a review of the situation: Williamson County Executive Committee member Rebecca Burke and even state Sen. Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville.

Giannini’s email is reproduced  below.

Dear fellow Republicans,

As some of you may have seen, various news outlets are reporting that Ryan Haynes will not seek election to a second term as chairman of our party.  If these reports are true, as the duly elected members of our State Executive Committee, you are tasked with the awesome honor and responsibility of determining who will lead our party for the next two years and beyond.  After much prayer and consultation, I would like to officially announce to you that I AM a candidate!  While I am proud to have a very broad and diverse base of support across the state from republican elected officials, small business and grassroots activists, it is your vote and confidence that I am determined to solicit, secure and preserve.   Over the next few weeks, I look forward to meeting with each of you face to face to share my background, experience and vision for our party.  And lastly, as much as I would like to begin meeting with each and every one of you immediately, the highest priority right now is to turn out the vote for Donald Trump and all our republicans across the state and country.  Between now and the closing of polls on Tuesday, that is and should be our only goal!  On Wednesday morning,  I will hit the ground running and will not stop until December 3rd.  I humbly ask for your prayers and I thank you for your service to our party, our state, and our country.   See you soon!


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