byron bush

Bush is back! Senate candidate restored to GOP ballot

Byron Bush, the U.S. Senate candidate who caused widespread consternation with his Super Bowl ads railing against state judges, has been restored to the Republican primary ballot.

Bush, who also ran for the U.S. Senate nomination in 1994, had failed to survive a challenge of his bona fides last week because he had only voted in two out of the last four Republican primaries (party standards require participation in three of four GOP primaries). But his appeal was granted this week after being vouched for by Nashville Republican Party Chair Jim Garrett and state GOP executive committee members Mike Callahan, Joanne Davis, Anita Taylor Hodges, and Ken Meyer.

Here’s Bush’s statement:

Nashville, TN—Today, Dr. Byron Bush announced that he has successfully beat back attempts to block him from the August primary ballot, saying:

“I’m pleased to report that our campaign has defeated an attempt by one of my opponents trying to use obscure rules to limit Tennessee Republican voters’ choice of candidates on the ballot.

I remain committed to bringing the strong conservative leadership we need in representing our values and leading by an example of personal integrity in the U.S. Senate at this pivotal time for the country. We can face these challenges with faith, not fear! 

I find it disturbing that a leading contender for Tennessee’s next Senator would undertake shady tactics like this, rather than stand on the strength of their own character and record. 

For my part, I pledge a different approach. The Republican Party has always stood for the importance of individual liberty and the right to make up your own mind. We are strongest and most united as a party when we honor that tradition, and so I will continue to work to bring together Republicans of all different backgrounds. Now is a time to work with one another to get our citizens back to work and get the government bureaucracy out of the way of individuals and businesses trying to weather the troubled economy. 

I deeply appreciate the Tennessee Republican Party members who vouched for my Republican bona fides, took a stand for what is right, and helped ensure that we will have many qualified candidates on the ballot competing for this important position.”  

Bush, Jones vow to fight ballot exclusion; DeBerry won’t

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Byron Bush and Democratic U.S. House candidate Justin Jones are vowing to fight their exclusions from the primary ballot in August. But longtime state Rep. John DeBerry of Memphis says he won’t challenge fellow Democrats’ decision to remove him.

Bush, who also ran for the Senate in 1994, was deemed ineligible to run as a Republican because he hadn’t voted in three of the last four primaries. Jones failed to submit 25 valid signatures for his effort to challenge incumbent Jim Cooper (D-Nashville). DeBerry was excluded by Democrats because of his pattern of voting with Republicans on issues like abortion and school vouchers.

“The so-called party of inclusion is everything but inclusive,” DeBerry told the Commercial Appeal . “It’s all about thinking with one brain, marching in step and following the company line, sitting there like a brainless idiot and letting them tell you what to do.”

Jones, who is best known for leading protests against the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust at the state Capitol, said hehe missed the cut by a single signature. He blamed the coronavirus pandemic for making it more difficult to collect the signatures.

“We have heard ‘no’ since we announced this campaign,” Jones said in a Twitter post.”We fought then. And will continue fighting now.”

Bush, who was also a Republican candidate for the Senate in 1994, was among five candidates running to succeed Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Maryville) this year who were deemed not to be bona fide Republicans.

Bush had used his current campaign as a platform for railing against state judges following his losing legal battle to prevent a property foreclosure in 2012. Bush, a Nashville dentist, drew a modicum of attention by running local ads during the Super Bowl.

(Bush’s full statement after the jump)

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