Reeves campaign denies Tracy violated Hatch Act

The Shane Reeves for State Senate campaign is denying former Sen. Jim Tracy violated the Hatch Act by holding a political fundraiser after he took a job with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, reports the Murfreesboro Post.

The complaint filed by former congressional candidate John Anderson, a retired Bell Buckle teacher, with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel contends Tracy participated in the fundraising event after becoming a federal employee, a violation of the U.S. Hatch Act, which prohibits federal workers from soliciting for political fundraisers or hosting them.

Joe Carr, a former state representative from Lascassas, and Reeves, a Murfreesboro pharmaceutical company owner, are running in the Senate District 14 Republican primary set for Jan. 25 to fill Tracy’s vacated seat. Early voting is under way.

The Reeves campaign is calling the allegation by Anderson politically motivated.

“Jim Tracy endorsed and allowed his name on an invitation prior to his official employment,” says a statement from Reeves’ campaign manager, Matt Herriman. “Once he was officially employed, he recused himself from all campaign activity, including all events for Reeves. He did not attend any of them. There was no violation of any kind and this is clearly an attempt by a fledgling Joe Carr campaign to manufacture a non-existent issue.”

Tracy also is denying he violated the Hatch Act but is deferring comment to a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“This matter has been brought to the attention of USDA and we are looking into it,” said USDA spokesperson Jackie Susmann.

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