Songwriter/conservative activist eyes run for 7th Congressional District seat

Lee Thomas Miller, a country music songwriter prominent in the industry both for his hits and his advocacy for conservative causes, is on the verge of joining the field of Republicans who want to succeed Rep. Marsha Blackburn in the 7th Congressional District seat.

So reports the Nashville Post, following up on Miller comments reported in Tennessee Star on Monday as creating “a lot of buzz” and adding a bit more commentary.

Miller has penned or co-written such songs as Tim McGraw’s “Nothin’ to Die For” and “Southern Girl,” Brad Paisley’s “Perfect Storm” and Chris Stapleton’s “Whiskey and You” over an almost 30-year career. He’s also led the lobbying efforts of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (as an unpaid advocate) working to advance changes in copyright and royalty laws.

Miller first told The Tennessean a few weeks ago that he was contemplating a run, but speaking to The Tennessee Star website this weekend, he sounds almost certain to get in the race.

“I don’t have a specific timetable for launching a campaign for Congress,” Miller told the website. “But I would say sooner rather than later. And, yes, quite a few of my friends in the music business have offered to come out on the campaign trail with me.”

Miller is apparently well liked and respected in the music industry, but he also has the Christian conservative bonafides to go toe-to-toe with far right media darling state Sen. Mark Green (R-Ashland City), so far the only announced Republican candidate in the race. Miller was one of a number of parents who sponsored religious activities at a Wilson County elementary school, which the ACLU sued over in 2006 and eventually won, causing the county to shell out more than $100,000 in damages. Then Miller, along with several other parents, sued the school district themselves (funded by the Alliance Defending Freedom’s legal arm) over alleged religious censorship; they won the suit.

… If Green and Miller split the “family values” voters — something that could be further complicated if Williamson County tea party activist Laurie Cardoza Moore also gets in — establishment GOP funding could flow towards a more straightforwardly business-friendly candidate, like Franklin Mayor Ken Moore or former state Rep. Page Walley, both of whom are considering runs.

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