chris devaney

Winstead names Devaney, Kaegi to campaign team

Kurt Winstead

Retired Tennessee National Guard general Kurt Winstead has named former state Repubican Party chair Chris Devaney as the senior adviser to his campaign for the Republican nomination in the 5th Congressional District. Kim Kaegi will serve as his fundraising consultant. Both previously worked on Republican Bill Lee’s successful gubernatorial campaign in 2018.

Several candidates are running for the open seat that was redrawn to make it heavily Republican leaning his fall. Fromer U.S. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus has Ward Baker advising her bid, while Chip Saltsman is consulting for Williamson County businessman Baxter Lee. Former House Speaker Beth Harwell’s campaign announcement was issued by the Lukens Co., a Washington-area firm that has done direct mail work for Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential bid, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Here’s the full release from the Winstead camp:

Nashville, Tenn — General Kurt Winstead (ret.) announced today his senior campaign team to win the race for the new 5th Congressional District. The team includes:

— Jimmy Granbery, Chairman of the H.G. Hill Company and CEO of H.G. Hill Realty Co., will serve as finance chairman.

— Chris Devaney, former Tennessee Republican Party Chairman, who will serve as senior advisor to the campaign.

— Kim Kaegi, a veteran of numerous successful campaigns across Tennessee, will serve as finance consultant to the campaign.

“Our campaign is building momentum across the District every day. I’m so grateful for the team we are putting together to achieve victory on Election Day,” said General Winstead.

Chris Devaney is a former Tennessee Republican Party Chairman who served in senior roles on multiple winning campaigns in the Volunteer State, including managing Governor Bill Lee’s successful campaign in 2018.

Kim Kaegi has over thirty years of statewide fundraising experience across Tennessee. Kaegi has worked for dozens of campaigns including Governor Bill Lee, Governor Bill Haslam, Senator Bill Hagerty, and Congressional campaigns of Diane Black, Tim Burchett, Stephen Fincher, David Kustoff, and Phil Roe.

Successful Nashville businessman Jimmy Granbery will serve as finance chairman for the Winstead Campaign.

“Now more than ever, we need leaders with real world experience. General Winstead has the kind of background and conservative Tennessee values we need in Congress,” said Granbery. “As a lifelong Tennessean, I want our next Congressman to truly represent Middle Tennessee. community, state, and nation. I’m proud to support a conservative leader like Kurt Winstead.”

Granbery is Chairman of the H.G. Hill Company and a fourth generation family member of the 127 year old Middle Tennessee business. He also serves as Chair and CEO of H.G. Hill Realty Company, which has an extensive real estate portfolio. Besides his business experience, Granbery also has an extensive civic background having served on numerous boards in the state.

Kurt Winstead is an eighth generation Tennessean and was raised in a home of educators and farmers. He served for more than thirty years in the Tennessee Army National Guard, including Director of the Joint Staff, Tennessee’s Staff Judge Advocate, and Brigade Command Judge Advocate during Operation Iraqi Freedom III.

Winstead is a graduate of Centre College and received a law degree from the University of Richmond School of Law. He also holds a master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. Kurt and his wife Beth attend St. Matthew Church in Franklin. They are the proud parents of two adult daughters raised and educated in Williamson County.

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Paid for by Kurt Winstead for Congress

Lee’s appointments to wildlife board questioned

Bill Lee speaks at a unity press conference in Nashville on Aug. 4, 2018 after winning the Republican gubernatorial nomination. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Gov. Bill Lee’s nominations of his former campaign manager and a businessman who was once cited for a hunting violation to the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission are raising questions in the General Assembly, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports.

Lee wants to appoint Chris Devaney, a former state GOP chairman who ran his 2018 gubernatorial campaign, and Stan Butt, the husband of former state Rep. Sheila Butt (R-Columbia), to the wildlife panel.

Devaney, a Texas native, obtained his first Tennessee hunting and fishing permit in 2017. Sen. Mike Bell (R-Riceville), a major player in the legislature’s sportsmen’s caucus, expressed some unease about the Devaney nomination.

“I live in Southeast Tennessee, and the last two commissioners we’ve had from our area, David Watson and Tony Sanders, are huge outdoorsmen, people that I’ve seen outdoors, people that I’ve seen on social media who go hunting and fishing and participate in outdoor activities,” Bell told the Times Free Press. “It is somewhat concerning to me that we now have a person who’s been appointed to be on the commission whom I’ve never seen at an event.”

Bell hastened to add he considers Devaney a friend that he “may make a fantastic commissioner.” Fellow Republican Sen. Todd Gardenhire of Chattanooga said he was a “little disappointed that [Devaney] would even let himself be considered for this.”

“His expertise is in a lot of other areas besides hunting and fishing and wildlife,” Gardenhire told the paper.

Devaney said he’s a lifelong hunter and the grandson of late George Wells, a Texas apparel manufacturer who helped pioneer camouflage hunting clothing. He showed the paper a copy of a Texas-issued hunter education certificate earned in the eighth grade, along with a current Texas hunting license and one issued in 2014 in Alabama.

Butt and his three adult sons were cited by wildlife officers in 2008 for hunting during bow season “while in possession [of] a firearm or accompanied by person in violation of a firearm.” He later paid a $50 civil fine and $195 in court costs.

Butt, who was also an active Lee supporter during the 2018 campaign, chalked it up to a misunderstanding.

“We weren’t hunting with a bow,” Butt said in an interview. “We were hunting on a 5,000-acre lease. And in our ignorance we were hunting hogs on this lease, hogs were legal at the time. We didn’t know that bow season [for deer] had opened that weekend. And we weren’t hunting deer, we were hunting hogs.”

Butt called the incided “unfortunate” and “one of them things, that’s what I told them, I said, ‘Hey, I can certainly understand how people get caught in those situations because I’ve been there.'”

Bell said Butt “has a good resume as being an outdoorsman and somebody who’s participated. Somebody who’s had, as I understand, one wildlife infraction in his background. But again, that’s the governor’s choice.”

Bell said if Lee wants to shake up the commission, Butt could be a good choice because “I know he can be a little aggressive, and again I was on the same side as him on a couple of issues. But he can be a little aggressive, which that may be the governor’s intention. If it is, I understand.”