fundraising

Ogles camp announces $453K haul for 5th District bid in first 30 days

Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles says his campaign for the Republican nomination for the open 5th Congressional District seat has netted $453,000 in the first month since joining the race. Ogles didn’t officially enter the contest until the end of the Federal Election Commission’s most recent reporting deadline, so he won’t have to make official disclosures until July 15 — 20 days before the primary.

The Ogles campaign says none of his fundraising total came in the form of loans and that all contributions were from within Tennessee.

Here’s the full release:

COLUMBIA, TN – Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles raised $453,000 in the first thirty days of his bid for the 5th District Congressional seat. Ogles, who was a late entry into the race, officially became a candidate on April 6th. 

Mayor Ogles stated, “I am humbled and overwhelmed by the support I’ve received since entering the race. Not only has the fundraising response been incredible, the results in recent straw polls in both Wilson and Marshall Counties, as well as the candidate auction in Williamson County demonstrate the strength of my grassroots campaign.” 

Mayor Ogles attributes his success with the grassroots to his decades of activism where he has helped lead the charge against Obamacare expansion, government overreach and various tax increases. “Tennesseans want elected officials who will fight for them in the same way President Trump fought for us. During Covid I never wavered, I fought for freedom and liberty in the face of threats, and I will fight for Tennessee against a Federal government that has gone too far and grown too powerful,” said Ogles.

Recently Mayor Ogles made national headlines as he refused to close Maury County during Covid. Ogles actively campaigned against State and Federal mandates by holding the ‘Freedom Matters’ tour where he recruited other elected officials and TN citizens to standup against government overreach with the town hall meetings consistently drawing crowds between 500 and 800 individuals. 

Lee Beaman, a well-known businessman and conservative fundraiser, who serves as Mayor Ogles Campaign Chairman added, “I recently attended an event with several very conservative Members of Congress who were asking about the 5th Congressional Race and I told them Andy Ogles is Tennessee’s Ron DeSantis and, like the Florida Governor, Andy is a true fighter for the people and he is exactly who we need serving us in Congress.” 

Starbuck raises $104K in quarter, $350K to date in 5th District

Robby Starbuck’s quarterly fundraising trails top-tier candidates in the Republican primary for the 5th Congressional District. The music video producer brought in $104,524 through the most recent reporting period, well behind Morgan Ortagus (nearly $600,000), Kurt Winstead ($520,000), Beth Harwell ($350,000). and Baxter Lee ($317,000).

But Starbuck got into the race long before his rivals and has raised $349,386 since last summer. About a quarter of Starbuck’s haul in the first quarter came in form of small, unitemized donations. He spent $71,000, bringing his total to $179,979. He had $172,265 remaining on hand as of March 31.

Baxter Lee reports $317K in donations, same again from self in 5th District race

Businessman Baxter Lee has reported raising $317,380 in outside contributions — plus a matching donation from himself — in his bid for the Republican nomination in the open race for the 5th Congressional District. Developer Steve Smith, the finance for the Lee campaign, said the campaign had $560,000 on hand at the end of the fundraising period.

Contributions include $1,000 from former senator and governor Lamar Alexander and the same amount from Crown Bakeries founder Cordia Harrington. Jim Haslam, the founder of the Pilot truck stop chain. and former CEO Jimmy Haslam each gave $2,900. as did their spouses.

Here’s the release from the Lee campaign:

NASHVILLE, TN – Steve Smith, Finance Chair for Baxter Lee, announced over $630,000 for the first filing in Tennessee’s 5th Congressional district since Lee officially announced his candidacy three weeks ago. “I have worked with Baxter for years helping Republicans all over Tennessee get elected and I look forward to doing anything I can to help Baxter win this race,” Smith said. Lee has over $560,000 cash on hand.

Baxter Lee, a Tennessee native and entrepreneur, announced that he was running for Congress at the end of March, “I am humbled and honored by the encouragement myself and my family have received during this process so far. It speaks volumes of the confidence a person has when they financially support a candidate and my first quarter shows that I am someone they are putting their trust into,” Baxter stated. “The 5th district is looking forward to finally having a conservative Congressman to represent them again and wave goodbye to Nancy Pelosi.”

Lee is an eight generation Tennessean and business owner. This is Lee’s first campaign for office but has been an influential player in the success of many Tennessee Republicans being elected to public office. In 1994, his family hosted a fundraiser for Fred Thompson and worked hard to get him elected for his first term. Senator Thompson became a mentor to Lee, and he instilled conservative ideals like more freedom and less government. His first campaign donation was to Lamar Alexander in 1999 at twenty years old.

Winstead chalks up $520K in donations, plus half million from self

Kurt Winstead

Republican Kurt Winstead, a retired brigadier general in Tennessee National Guard, announced he has raised more than $520,000 since joining the race for the open 5th Congressional District seat. Winstead said in a release that he will report more than $1 million cash on hand, meaning he has matched his outside donations with personal funds.

Among Winstead’s rivals for the GOP nomination, Morgan Ortagus said she has raised nearly $600,000, while former state House Speaker Beth Harwell announced she has landed nearly $350,000.

Here’s the full release from the Winstead campaign:

Nashville, Tenn. – General Kurt Winstead (Ret.), a conservative Republican candidate for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District, announced he will have more than $1-million cash on hand in his first filing with the Federal Election Commission. 

In the effort, Winstead raised more than $520,000. 99% of those funds were from Tennessee, and 73% were from the counties within the newly drawn 5th Congressional District — Davidson, Lewis, Marshall, Maury, Williamson and Wilson Counties.

“We are so grateful for the outpouring of support in Tennessee and voters in the 5th District. Our campaign is gaining momentum, and these numbers are clear evidence of that support,” said Winstead.

The filing period, which ended on March 31, is required by law to be reported no later than April 15. Winstead, a political outsider, announced his candidacy at the end of February.

“General Winstead’s 30-plus years of service to our state and our community shows by these strong fundraising numbers. People know a leader when they see one, and it’s evident they want a conservative who knows the district and their state,” said businessman Jimmy Granbery, Finance Chair of the Winstead campaign. “This is a tremendous start for a fundraising effort that is strengthening, with many events scheduled in the coming weeks across the district.”

“This is a strong start and indicative of a winning campaign,” said Kim Kaegi, a veteran fundraiser with over thirty years of experience in Tennessee, and who is managing the fundraising efforts for the Winstead campaign.

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.

Ortagus raises $600K despite fight over eligibility

Republican Morgan Ortagus has raised nearly $600,000 for her congressional bid despite persistent questions about whether she will be able to appear on the primary ballot for the 5th District.

Ortagus made a big splash when she landed the endorsement of former President Donald Trump, but state lawmakers overwhelmingly passed legislation to require people seeking to run in party primaries for Congress to have lived in Tennessee for at least three years. Ortagus moved to Nashville last year. A legal challenge is pending.

Here is the fundraising release from the Ortagus campaign:

NASHVILLE, TN — Team Morgan Ortagus today announced that Trump-endorsed conservative Morgan Ortagus raised nearly $600,000 in the first six weeks of her campaign to represent Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District. Team Morgan Ortagus has over $550,000 cash on hand.

“Our team is building momentum every day, as Middle Tennesseans make it clear they want their next Congressman to fight for our conservative values and President Trump’s America First agenda,” said Morgan Ortagus. “I’ve never run for public office before, and I’m truly humbled by the outpouring of support we’ve received in the first two months of our campaign. Together, we’re going to take back the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and fire Nancy Pelosi once and for all.”

Morgan Ortagus is an active U.S. Navy Reserve Officer and a business executive. She served in President Trump’s Department of State and has received President Trump’s “complete and total” endorsement.

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.

Lawmakers scramble to raise money before high-noon deadline

Lawmakers are scrambling to collect last-minute campaign donations as a fundraising ban looms. The blackout begins once the gavel falls on the start of the regular session at noon on Tuesday. It will last until the General Assembly adjourns for the year — or May 15 if they can’t complete their business before then.

As Andy Sher of the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports, House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) had an event to raise money for his PAC on Monday at the Nashville City Club, while his Senate counterpart, Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge), held an event at Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse .

Sexton spokesman Doug Kufner told the paper “the practice of hosting fundraisers on the day before the start of a legislative session is not uncommon and has occurred regularly among members of both parties in recent years.

Raising money will be all the more crucial for lawmakers facing potential primary challenges under this year’s newly drawn political maps.

Tennessee-wide fundraisers get underway for gubernatorial candidate … in Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the former Trump spokeswoman, is in Tennessee this weekend to drum up campaign cash for her gubernatorial bid in Arkansas. Sanders has events scheduled in Memphis, Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Nashville on Sunday and Monday.

Sanders’ father, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, won Tennessee’s presidential primary in 2008. Huckabee carried 34% of the vote, compared with 32% for John McCain and 24% for Mitt Romney. Huckabee’s campaign adviser that year was Chip Saltsman, who is also consulting on Sanders’ gubernatorial bid.

Saltsman ran Randy Boyd’s unsuccessful bid for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Tennessee in 2018. He has also worked as a political consultant for U.S. Reps. Chuck Fleischmann (R-Chattanooga) and David Kustoff (R-Memphis).

Current Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is term limited.

Winners and losers in the General Assembly’s fundraising sweepstakes

The state Capitol was closed to visitors on March 16, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

The final fundraising disclosures are in before Thursday’s primary election. We’ve dug through the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance disclosures to aggregate how much each candidate for the House and Senate has raised so far through this election cycle.

House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) leads the way with $359,200, followed by freshman Rep. Bob Freeman (D-Nashville) with $290,700. Sen. Paul Rose (R-Covington) is next on the list with $226,500, though his numbers are a bit inflated by having stood for a special election during the cycle.

On the other end of the spectrum are incumbents who have raised the least. They are Reps. G.A. Hardaway (D-Memphis) with $2,900, Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah) with $3,900, and former House Speaker Glen Casada (R-Franklin) with $6,450.

These totals are for candidates only, meaning they don’t include any of their political action committees.

A couple caveats about the way the Registry keeps these numbers: They include outside donations and direct contributions from the candidates themselves, but not loans. For example, while Rep. Rick Tillis’ challenger Todd Warner in District 92 is listed as raising $2,950, that figure doesn’t include the eye-popping $127,100 he has loaned himself. The figures also don’t include unitemized contributions, which for some candidates can be substantial.

So with all that being said, the full list follows. Challengers and candidates in open races are listed in italics.

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Hagerty to report raising $1.2M in first quarter

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty speaks at Nashville event on Dec. 3, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty will report raising $1.2 million in the first quarter, the campaign announced Monday.

“We’re continuing to share my vision and plan to protect our conservative Tennessee values as we connect with voters across the state,” Hagerty said in a statement.

Here’s the release from the Hagerty campaign:

Nashville, TN — Team Hagerty today announced Bill Hagerty brought in more than $7 million for the campaign in just seven months. He has $5.6 million cash on hand. In the first quarter of 2020, Hagerty further extended his strong momentum of support, raising $1.2 million.

“Team Hagerty continues building momentum every single day, and our family is so grateful for this outpouring of support,” said Bill Hagerty. “We’re continuing to share my vision and plan to protect our conservative Tennessee values as we connect with voters across the state. Together, we will defeat Chuck Schumer’s hand-picked liberal candidate and support President Trump’s America First agenda.”

Speaking about the first quarter, Team Hagerty Finance Chair Steve Smith added, “Tennesseans want their next Senator to stand with President Trump to protect our conservative values. They know that Bill Hagerty has earned the President’s whole-hearted endorsement and that Bill is best positioned to work with our President to deliver for Tennessee. Bill is running a strong grassroots campaign, and the campaign is strongly positioned to defeat Chuck Schumer’s radically liberal candidate in November.”

Hagerty earned President Trump’s “complete and total” endorsement to be Tennessee’s next United States Senator while serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Japan. To learn more about Bill Hagerty, visit  www.teamhagerty.com.