debra maggart

New local super PAC running ads supporting Harwell

A new super PAC called Government of the People is running ads attacking Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles and supporting former House Speaker Beth Harwell in the Republican primary for the 5th Congressional District. The new group’s treasurer is Debra Maggart, a former state House member and lobbyist.

Here’s the transcript:

NARRATOR 1: DC money flooding into Tennessee, backing lobbyist Andy Ogles for Congress. Why? They want Congress to immediately prioritize amnesty for illegal immigrants. Amnesty. If Andy Oglels wins, he owes them, not you. Lobbyist Andy Ogles. You just can’t trust him.

NARRATOR 2: But you know Beth Harwell. She keeps her word. She cut our taxes. She’ll build Trump’s wall. Tennessee conservatives back Beth. Government of the People is responsible for the content of this advertising.

The ad appears to refer to past positions taken by Americans for Prosperity. Ogles was once the group’s state director and lobbyist.

The School Freedom Fund, a super PAC linked to the Club for Growth, is also out with new ads attacking Harwell and retired National Guard Brig. Gen. Kurt Winstead, another leading candidate for the GOP nomination.

Here’s what the narrator says:

Prices are soaring under Joe Biden. But in Tennessee, he’s not the only one to blame. As state House speaker, Beth Harwell rammed through a 28% gas tax increase. That’s why Beth Harwell is a Biden Republican. Imagine the damage they’d do together in Washington. Kurt Winstead is no better. Winstead bankrolled the liberal Tennessee Democrat Party. Winstead and Harwell. Too liberal for Tennessee. School Freedom Fund is responsible the content of this ad.

Harwell was speaker when the General Assembly passed a 6-cent gas tax increase in 2017. While she voted for the measure in the end, saying she “rammed” it through is a considerable exaggeration. Throughout most of the debate on the measure, Harwell pushed for finding ways to fund road projects without resorting to the gas tax hike, a position that angered many fellow Republicans.

The same super PAC is also running ad ad featuring spliced together commentary by Ogles at a recent candidate forum. Here’s the transcript:

OGLES: When this administration attacked Americans by weaponizing COVID, I refused to comply with the mandate. I told Biden he could pound sand. I want Washington D.C. out of Tennessee. Our education system has been hijacked through critical race theory. I’m willing to say no. This administration picked a fight and it’s a fight they’re going to get. My name is Andy Ogles, I’m fed up and I want my country back.

NARATOR: School free for those responsible for the content of this ad.

The ad ends with an image of Ogles with former President Donald Trump, who has not endorsed any of the remaining candidates in the 5th District race.