Beth Harwell

Harwell raises $350K for 5th District bid

House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) awaits Gov. Bill Haslam’s final State of the State address in Nashville on Jan. 29, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Associated Press)

Former state House Speaker Beth Harwell’s campaign announced she has raised $350,000 since joining the Republican primary for the open 5th Congressional District seat in February.

Here’s the release from the Harwell campaign:

NASHVILLE, TN – Today Republican Candidate for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District, Beth Harwell, announced her campaign has raised nearly $350,000 since jumping into the race on February 24.

The campaign reported that 98% of contributions came from within the state of Tennessee.

“I am proud to have the support of so many Tennesseans as we campaign to bring some common sense to Washington,” said Beth Harwell. “We need someone in Congress who knows the needs of Tennessee and will fight to bring back American greatness. I intend to do just that.”

Beth is a teacher who made history in the state of Tennessee by becoming the first woman to serve as the Speaker of the House. Since then, she has fought to cut a record-breaking number of taxes, build up the charter school system for our children, and stand up against far-left policies that would destroy our state.

Beth is the conservative leader that will take our Tennessee values to Washington. It is clear from the support Beth has seen across the district that she is the best choice to represent Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District in Washington.

Harwell names campaign team for 5th District bid

Former Rep. Timothy Hill (R-Blountville) confers with then-House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) March 29, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Former state House Speaker Beth Harwell has announced Bob Brown, a former chair of the Williamson County Election Commission, will manage her campaign for the Republican nomination in the new-look 5th Congressional District. Chasen Bullock and Alex Meyer of Washington-area consulting firm TLC Political will serve as general consultants. Investment banker Denny Bottorff will serve as Harwell’s campaign treasurer.

Read about staffing updates on other campaigns here.

Here is the release from the Harwell camp:

NASHVILLE, TN – Beth Harwell announced the team behind her campaign for the U.S. House on Thursday. Harwell is running for Tennessee’s new 5th Congressional District which encompasses Nashville.

“I am proud to have such a strong team working with me on this race to help me bring Tennessee common sense to Washington and fix America so that we can get our economy back on track, balance our budget, and secure our borders,” said Beth Harwell.

Bob Brown will be the Campaign Manager. He served as the Chairman of the Williamson County Election Commission from 2011 – 2022 as well as on the Davidson County Election Commission from 1989-1994. Bob is also a healthcare executive in Nashville.

TLC Political’s Chasen Bullock and Alex Meyer will be the general consultants. TLC Political is a Virginia based, full-service agency for Republican candidates, committees, and causes. Chasen Bullock, a Senior Political Strategist, served as the National Political Director at former Speaker Paul Ryan’s SuperPAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, and has managed Dr. Rand Paul’s re-election campaign in Kentucky following the 2016 Presidential election. Alex Meyer, a Senior Political Strategist, was the Campaign Manager for Congressional and U.S. Senate races across the country. He also served as Political Data Analyst, Political-Data Liaison, Director of Sisters Committee Support, and Missouri State Director for the Republican National Committee (RNC). For more on TLC Political go to TLCPolitical.com.

Rachel Barrett and Company’s Rachel Barrett and Reid Witcher will serve as the in-state fundraisers. Rachel has been involved with fundraising, political consulting and communications in Tennessee, Washington, D.C., and the Southeast for over 20 years. She has previously served as the
Southeast Finance Director for Mitt Romney, as well as a consultant for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). For more on Rachel & Reid go to RachelBarrettandCompany.com.

FP1’s Chris LaCivita and Annie Kelly Kuhle will be providing advertising services. FP1 is a full-service campaign consulting and advertising firm that has won 87 Pollies and 50 Reed Awards since its inception. Chris LaCivita is a partner at FP1, a former combat Marine veteran and seasoned political operative. He has served as Political Director for the NRSC, Senior Advisor for the RNC in 2016, and Executive Director of the Republican Party of Virginia. Annie Kelly Kuhle is a partner at FP1 Strategies, veteran campaign manager and strategist. She has served as a Regional Political Director for both the NRSC and NRCC. For more on FP1 go to fp1.com.

1892 LLC is a national polling firm that has conducted research for presidential, gubernatorial, senate, and congressional candidates around the country. For more on 1892, visit 1892llc.com.

TAG Strategies will be serving as the digital fundraising team. TAG is a full-service marketing, consulting and creative agency focused on building cutting-edge digital and fundraising solutions for candidates. TAG has raised over $3 billion for their candidates since their founding. For more on TAG Strategies go to TAGStrategies.co.

Denny Bottorff will serve as the campaign’s Treasurer. Denny is an American businessman, banker and philanthropist. He was chairman and chief executive officer of the First American Corporation and he served as the chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority from 2010 to 2012. He is the co-founder and general partner of Council Capital, a private equity and venture capital firm based in Nashville, Tennessee. He is also the co-founder and the former chairman of CapStar Bank.

To learn more about Beth visit BethHarwell.com.

About Beth As a life-long Republican, Beth played a key role in expanding the party in Tennessee. As Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party, she directed the strategy that saw Republicans capture a majority in the State Senate for the first time in nearly 150 years. In her time as the House Republican Caucus Whip and Campaign Committee Chair, House Republicans captured the four seats necessary to take the majority in the Tennessee House of Representatives. In 2011, Beth became the first female Speaker of the House in the Southeast, a position she held for eight years before being appointed to the Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors by President Donald Trump in 2019, a position she still holds. She also currently serves as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Middle Tennessee State University. Beth and her husband Sam live in Nashville where they raised their three children. She is a graduate of Lipscomb University and Vanderbilt University.

Harwell joins open 5th District race

House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) awaits Gov. Bill Haslam’s final State of the State address in Nashville on Jan. 29, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Associated Press)

Former state House Speaker Beth Harwell has joined the race for the Republican nomination in the open 5th Congressional District.

Harwell, the first female speaker in the history of the General Assembly, left the chamber in 2018 to run for governor.

Other declared candidates so far include former U.S. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus and music video producer Robby Starbuck. Others pondering bids include businessman Baxter Lee, attorney and retired National Guard general Kurt Winstead and Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles.

Democratic incumbent Jim Cooper announced his retirement after state lawmakers split up Nashville into three heavily Republican districts.

Here’s the release from the Harwell campaign:

NASHVILLE, TN– Beth Harwell announced today that she is running for the Republican nomination for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional district. A life-long Republican and long-time Nashville resident, Beth is a mother, educator, and former Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives. 

“As Speaker, we rebuilt the Tennessee economy by eliminating taxes, promoting school choice, and balancing our budget. Before that, I taught American history – real American history,” said Beth Harwell. “Now I’m running for Congress to fix America by bringing Tennessee common sense to Washington – they could learn a thing or two from the way we do things.  It’s time to rein in our federal government, stop the fiscal insanity, and return power to the states.”

Today’s America has been put through the ringer as the Biden Administration has driven inflation through the roof and spent our tax dollars on pet projects. They have taken control over our children’s classrooms and destroyed our businesses with mandates and overbearing regulations. Tennesseans don’t need more taxes, red-tape, and government overreach into their families. It’s time the 5th district had a representative who will fix our economy, secure our border, and ensure parents can be involved with their children’s education. 

Beth is the only proven conservative leader and reformer in this race. As Speaker of the House, Tennessee permanently banned a state income tax and eliminated the gift, death, and Hall income taxes, resulting in the largest amount of tax cuts in state history to the tune of over $5 billion dollars. She led the fight for school choice in Tennessee, empowering parents with a greater voice in their children’s education. Beth was an early proponent and ardent supporter of public charter schools and homeschooling options for families across the state.

The 5th congressional district includes portions of Davidson, Wilson, and Williamson Counties and all of Lewis, Marshall, and Maury Counties. 

To learn more about Beth visit BethHarwell.com.

About Beth. As a life-long Republican, Beth played a key role in expanding the party in Tennessee. As Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party, she directed the strategy that saw Republicans capture a majority in the State Senate for the first time in nearly 150 years. In her time as the House Republican Caucus Whip and Campaign Committee Chair, House Republicans captured the four seats necessary to take the majority in the Tennessee House of Representatives. In 2011, Beth became the first female Speaker of the House in the Southeast, a position she held for eight years before being appointed to the Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors by President Donald Trump in 2019, a position she still holds. She also currently serves as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Middle Tennessee State University. Beth and her husband Sam live in Nashville where they raised their three children. She is a graduate of Lipscomb University and Vanderbilt University.

Harwell, Noland nominated to TVA board

House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) awaits Gov. Bill Haslam’s final State of the State address in Nashville on Jan. 29, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Associated Press)

President Donald Trump has nominated former state House Speaker Beth Harwell and East Tennessee State University President Brian Noland to the board of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Harwell decided to give up her House seat to make a bid for governor in 2018. She fell short in the the Republican primary won by eventual Gov. Bill Lee.

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander said Harwell had worked with TVA on several issues during her time as speaker.

“She understands that TVA’s mission is to continue to provide cheap, clean and reliable electricity throughout the Tennessee Valley, and I know her leadership will be a valuable asset to the TVA board,” he said in a statement.

Alexander called Noland “a respected leader in East Tennessee [who] has helped transform Tennessee’s fourth largest university.”

“His administrative experience makes him the right person to help keep TVA on a good path – to continue to provide clean, cheap, reliable electricity at the lowest possible rates for homes and businesses through the seven-state Tennessee Valley region,” Alexander said.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports TVA directors are paid an annual stipend of $52,702. The chair receives $58,650 a year.

Photo gallery of House action as Casada elected speaker

Here’s a look at some of the action surrounding the election of Rep. Glen Casada (R-Franklin) as House speaker on Tuesday.

Rep. Glen Casada (R-Franklin) gestures toward former Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) after his election as speaker in Nashville on Jan. 8, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Cottontown) attends a Republican caucus meeting on the first day of the 111th General Assembly on Jan. 8, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

House Republican Caucus Chairman Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) attends a caucus meeting on the first day of the 111th General Assembly on Jan. 8, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

New House Speaker Glen Casada (R-Franklin) takes over the gavel from former Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) on Jan. 8, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Rep. Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough) attends a rules meeting in Nashville on Jan. 8, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

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Democratic PAC makes last-minute TV buy in race for Harwell seat

The independent expenditure arm of the state House Democratic Caucus is making a last-minute television ad buy in support of Bob Freeman, the Nashville Democrat running to succeed retiring House Speaker Beth Harwell.

The Tennessee Tomorrow PAC is spending $77,325 on the ads to run between Saturday and Monday. The PAC’s largest funder is real estate mogul Bill Freeman, who has donated $200,000. The elder Freeman was an unsuccessful mayoral candidate in in Nashville in 2015 despite dropping $3.5 million of his own money into the race.

Bob Freeman faces Republican Brent Moody in the House District 56 race. Harwell was re-elected in 2016 despite the district voting for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in the presidential election. The race to succeed Harwell is considered the Democrats’ best chance in their efforts to pick up seats on Tuesday.

The Tennessee Tomorrow PAC has raised $530,000 since the beginning of the third quarter. Besides Bill Freeman’s $200,000, other big donations include $50,000 from the Tennessee Education Association, $50,000 from Laroche Enterprises, and $20,000 each from Friends of Darren Jernigan, George Bright, Mike Stewart, and the U.S. Rep Jim Cooper’s PAC.

Campaign finance registry dismisses complaints against Harwell, Lee

House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) awaits Gov. Bill Haslam’s final State of the State address in Nashville on Jan. 29, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Associated Press)

The Tennessee Registry of Election Finance has dismissed complaints filed against House Speaker Beth Harwell’s gubernatorial bid. The complaints alleged illegal coordination between Harwell and her political action committee, and questioned whether she actually had the $3.1 million she reported loaning her campaign earlier this year.

UPDATE: The Registry also dismissed coordination complaints against Bill Lee, the Republican gubernatorial nominee.

Hank Fincher, a Democratic appointee to the panel, called the complaints against Harwell “garbage” and made the motion to dismiss them. The motion received a 4-0 vote.

Harwell came in fourth in the Republican gubernatorial primary this month.

Harwell’s latest ad touts support for medical marijuana

Republican gubernatorial candidate Beth Harwell has a launched a new TV ad touting herself as the only Republican gubernatorial candidate who supports legalizing medical marijuana in Tennessee.

“I am the only Republican candidate for governor who supports legalizing doctor-prescribed medical cannabis,” she said. “Many suffer: veterans, children with seizures, cancer patients, our elderly. I just know if were my loved one, I would want this option.”

Harwell notes in the ad that President Donald Trump agrees, showing footage of the president saying “I think medical should happen, right? Don’t we agree?”

Harwell concludes the ad by saying: “Opioids must not be our only option for those in pain.”

Here’s the full ad:

 

Harwell to make ‘major’ announcement Friday

Republican gubernatorial candidate Beth Harwell’s campaign has sent out an advisory to political reporters to alert them to a “major announcement” at a news conference at the state Capitol on Friday.

Of course the last time Harwell’s camp signaled a “major announcement” in June, it ended up being an endorsement from state House Speaker Pro Tem Curtis Johnson (R-Clarksville). Interesting, but not exactly earth-shattering.

So what should we expect from Friday’s big presser?

 

Harwell’s new TV ad mocks GOP rivals

State House Speaker Beth Harwell’s new ad takes aim at squabbling among her Republican gubernatorial rivals Randy Boyd, Diane Black, and Bill Lee, while calling her “the adult in the room.”

“My opponents are spending a great deal of time arguing over things we’ve already done in Tennessee. We outlawed sanctuary cities in Tennessee even before President Trump’s election,” Harwell said in a release. “We strengthened the law just last legislative session by adding monetary penalties to any local municipality that chooses to defy the law.”