kurt winstead

Harwell attack ad, Winstead’s ‘dumb vote,’ and Ogles’ liens

A new set of ads are flooding the airwaves before Thursday’s 5th Congressional District primary. House Speaker Beth Harwell has a negative ad out about Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles, whom she labels as a lobbyist backed by “amnesty-loving RINOs who sell out America.”

Here’s the transcript:

HARWELL: I’m Beth Harwell and I approve this message.

NARRATOR: Who’s behind lobbyist Andy Ogles’ campaign? A D.C. special interest group that smeared Donald Trump and another shady special interest group that supports amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants. They’re spending big bucks on Ogles, because Ogles will vote for their pro-amnesty agenda. Bought and paid for by never Trumpers and amnesty-loving RINOS who sell out America. Lobbyist Andy Ogles would make the D.C. swamp even worse.

Retired National Guard Brig. Gen. Kurt Wintead has an ad out trying to blunt criticism that he voted and contributed to Democrats.

RETIRED MASTER SGT. MARK HARRIS: Someone called Brigadier General Kurt Winstead a liberal Democrat. This Davy Crockett conservative got fired up mad and called him. I served under General Winstead for five years. Turns out he cast dumb vote and a donation of two over 10 years ago. Never question General Winstead’s integrity or conservative values. I guarantee those with my life.

WINSTEAD I’m retired Brigadier General Kurt Winston and I approve this message.

And the Conservative Americans PAC is hitting Ogles for allegedly failing to pay taxes on his businesses and have the state place a lien on them.

NARRATOR: You fool me once, shame on you, Fool me twice, shame on me. Andy Ogles already fooled us. He campaigned against tax hikes. “I don’t like taxes, all taxes are evil.” Then, he got elected and backed a tax hike. The same Andy Ogles whose businesses didn’t pay their own taxes — the state had to file liens to collect. Now , Andy Ogles is trying to fool us again. Don’t get burned again. Conservative Americans PAC is responsible for the content of this advertisement.

Winstead says poll shows him in statistical tie with Harwell for 5th District lead

Retired National Guard general Kurt Winstead says new polling shows him in a statistical tie with former state House Speaker Beth Harwell and Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles trailing in third for the Republican nomination in the 5th Congressional District.

The poll of 300 voters was conducted for the Winstead campaign by Spry Strategies of Knoxville. It has Harwell with 22%, Winstead with 20%, and Ogles with 15%. Little-known Timothy Lee got the support of 10%, while Army veteran Jeff Beierlein had 9%.

Spry Strategies was the pollster of choice in the 2020 cycle for state House Republicans, who spent $72,650 with the pollster, including $17,400 by Speaker Cameron Sexton of Crossville, $15,100 by Rep. Glen Casada of Franklin, and $11,600 by ex-Rep. Robin Smith of Hixson. The Tennessee Education Association, the state’s largest teacher’s union, spent $39,100 with the outfit in the second quarter of this year.

UPDATE: Trump Nation News reports an 1892 poll of 400 likely voters has Ogles at 30%, compared with 24% for Harwell, and 13% for Winstead. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.9%.

UPDATE 2: The 1892 poll refers to the race being “a tossup in the final weeks,” meaning its likely a bit dated.

Polling website FiveThirtyEight.com gives both Spry and 1892 a B/C rating

Boxes overflowing with 5th District mailers

If you live in the 5th Congressional District, you may want to make sure you keep emptying your mailbox. Otherwise, it’s likely to overflow.

Here is a sampling of mailers that have gone out to area residences this week:

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Winstead dips toe into negative ads

Republican congressional candidate Kurt Winstead is dipping his toe into the attack ads that have characterized the closing phase of the 5th District race. The commercial follows a new ad from Harwell, a former state House speaker, attacking Ogles as a “tax raiser” and a lobbyist. Ogles, the mayor of Maury County, is a former lobbyists for the state chapter of Americans for Prosperity.

Winstead, a retired brigadier general in the Tennessee National Guard, starts out his latest spot with photos of rival Republicans Beth Harwell and Andy Ogles, calling them “career politicians.” Here’s the transcript:

NARRATOR: Our choice for Congress? Two career politicians or tough conservative Republican general Kurt Winstead, an outsider. Winstead’s plan for America will slam our border shut. Return a gallon of gas to two bucks. Winstead will put our country first.

WINSTEAD: If you want a politician, I’m not your guy. If you want to fighter for conservative values, I’d really appreciate your vote. I’m retired brigadier general Kurt Winstead. I approved this message.

The ad features Winstead perusing the border with Mexico and footage of gas being pumped into a vehicle. Here it is:

New TNJ edition alert: Ogles files a lawsuit, but not his campaign finance disclosure

Andy Ogles is suing to stop this attack ad in the 5th District race.

The latest edition of The Tennessee Journal is out. Here is what’s in it:

— Outside super PACs ramp up attack ads in 5th District, and one candidate takes his complaints to court

— Andy Ogles, who has been targeted for his late property tax, has now missed the campaign finance disclosure deadline by a week.

— A look at key donors to Beth Harwell and Kurt Winstead (and some who hedged their bets by giving to both).

— From the campaign trail: Todd Warner cries foul over mailers highlighting FBI raid and connections to “disgraced former speaker,” competitive primaries for two open House seats in Williamson County, and Scott Cepicky’s fight for reelection.

Also: Larry Arnn says he “will likely say it again,” John Mark Windle retires from the National Guard, Torrey Harris gets arrested, and Registry member Tom Lawless blasts the attorney general’s office.

As always, access the your copy of the TNJ here.

Or subscribe here.

The attack ads cometh in 5th District race

It was only a matter of time until the attack ads started to emerge in the race for the Republican nomination in the open 5th Congressional District race. A group called Tennessee Conservatives is taking aim at Maury County Mayor, while the USA Freedom Fund is hitting former House Speaker Beth Harwell for having once voted for a program to allow illegal immigrants to get driver’s licenses. Another spot by the School Freedom Fund, which is linked to the Club for Growth, calls Harwell and retired National Guard Brig. Gen. Kurt Winstead “too liberal for Tennessee.”

Here’s the Ogles hit piece:

And the attack on Harwell.

Harwell appears to have updated one of her spots to try to defuse the attack, by declaring she “stopped illegals from getting driver’s licenses.” It’s true that she voted in 2004 to repeal a program allowing driver certificates to people who were in the country illegally, but that doesn’t tell the whole story, as she was among 19 Republicans who voted in favor of creating it three years earlier.

About those 5th District fundraising totals…

Kurt Winstead was the only Republican candidate in the 5th District Congressional race to tout his fundraising haul in a press release before the official reporting deadline. The move gave him some room for, shall we say, creativity in his numbers.

“Winstead will report having nearly $580,000 in receipts in the quarter, bringing the campaign total to over $1.5 million,” the release said.

Winstead’s report shows he received $382,480 from donors and loaned his campaign $660,000 during the second quarter. But he also paid back $460,000 of an earlier loan, leaving him with a net $582,480 in the period. Add the $519,625 in contributions in the first quarter and the $20,000 remaining from his original loan, and his total is $1.1 million since joining the race.

Meanwhile, rival Republican Beth Harwell raised $421,360 in the quarter, a 19% increase over her first-quarter collections. She has yet to loan her campaign any money and her total donations to date are $775,287. Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles had yet to file his first report as of Friday evening.

UPDATE: The deadline came and went and there are still no Ogles filings available on the disclosure site.

PAC linked to Club for Growth hits Harwell, Winstead in 5th District race

The School Freedom Fund, a PAC tied to the Washington-based Club for Growth, is sending out mailers attacking Beth Harwell and Kurt Winstead as not sufficiently Republican to represent the state in the 5th Congressional District.

Harwell is a former speaker of the state House of Representatives and a onetime chair of the Tennessee Republican Party. Winstead is a retired brigadier general in the Tennessee National Guard. According to the group, both are “beholden to liberal Democrats.” The mailers cite Harwell’s vote for then-Gov. Bill Haslam’s 6-cent gas tax hike in 2017 and her endorsement from the Tennessee Education Association, the state’s largest teachers’ union, during her unsuccessful bid for governor in 2018. Winstead is criticized for giving more than $2,500 in campaign donations to Democrats (unmentioned are the more than $7,000 he has given to Republicans over the last four years, including $3,000 to Republican Gov. Bill Lee).

The mailers appear to try to boost the prospects of Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles. The Club for Growth was last active in a Tennessee congressional race in 2020 in the open 1st District race, backing former state Rep. Timothy Hill (R-Blountville). Diana Harshbarger won the nomination with 19% of the vote, compared with 16.7% for Hill and 16.1% for state Sen. Rusty Crowe.

Winstead to report $580K haul in 2nd quarter

Kurt Winstead (Photo credit: Winstead campaign)

Congressional candidate Kurt Winstead says he will report $580,000 in receipts in the second quarter for his campaign for the Republican nomination in the new 5th District.

Here’s the release from the Winstead camp:

Nashville, Tenn. – The campaign of Brigadier General Kurt Winstead (Ret.), a conservative Republican candidate for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District, announced another successful quarter in fundraising showing clear momentum in the race.

In the latest filing to be reported to the Federal Election Commission, Winstead will report having receipts of nearly $580,000 in the quarter, bringing the campaign total to over $1.5 million. His fundraising efforts have far outpaced any of the other candidates in the Republican Primary.

“We have serious momentum here in the district. Our team is working around the clock ahead of the August 4th primary. We want to thank the outpouring of support our campaign is receiving across the district,” said Winstead.

The filing period, which ended on June 30, is required by law to be reported no later than July 15, which is also the first day of early voting.

“I’m seeing a lot of enthusiasm for General Winstead on the campaign trail. He is the only candidate with real momentum in this race,” said Jimmy Granbery.

Heading into early voting, Winstead is showing growing strength, not only by his fundraising numbers but also through his ad blitz, a growing grassroots team, and the recent endorsements by key community leaders such as the sheriffs of Williamson and Wilson Counties.

The majority of the new 5th Congressional District includes southern and eastern Davidson County (Antioch, Bellevue, Belle Meade, Green Hills, Hermitage, Oak Hill, and others). It also includes parts of Williamson (Arrington, Brentwood, College Grove, Nolensville, Thompson’s Station, and others) and Wilson Counties (Greater Lebanon and Mt. Juliet), plus the counties of Maury, Marshall and Lewis Counties.

5th District ad watch: The ’ole general’ and the southern border

Two Republicans vying for the nomination in the new 5th Congressional District have new ads out touting their conservative credentials. Kurt Winstead dubs himself the ”ole general,” while Beth Harwell calls for finishing former President Donald Trump’s border wall.

Here’s what Winstead says in his ad:

Joe Biden’s America? Shocking gas prices, painful inflation, open borders, immigration run rampant. My America? Well, I grew up on a small farm, conservative Tennessee values, country first, don’t spend more than you bring in, defend the defenseless, do what the Bible says. It just might take an ole General to bring America back in line. I’m retired Brigadier General Kurt Winstead and I approved this message.

And here’s the transcript on the Harwell spot:

“I’m Beth Harwell. America’s illegal immigration crisis starts here at our southern border, but it ends in our own backyard. Soaring crime, human trafficking, opioids and fentanyl in the hands of our kids. I’ve spent my life fighting for strong families, safe neighborhoods, and Tennessee values. In Congress, I’ll fight to finish President Trump’s wall, fight for tougher penalties on criminals, and ban sanctuary cities. I’m Beth Harwell and I approved this message because we must secure this border.”