Morgan Ortagus

New TNJ alert: Ford labor deal to construct plant worries lawmakers, election changes proposed

The Blue Oval City plans superimposed on a map of the West Tenenssee Megasite.

— GOP lawmakers fret over Ford’s national labor agreement to build West Tennessee site.

— Proposal to require residency requirements for congressional candidates could have big effect on 5th District race – if it’s legal.

— Numbering disparity in new Senate maps could serve as basis for redistricting lawsuit.

— From the campaign trail: Kelsey dodges primary challenge from prominent House chairman, candidates line up to run for seats being vacated by Byrd and Halford, Stewart joins the ranks of retiring lawmakers.

Also:

The Tennessee Performing Arts Center says its in “ongoing discussion” with the state about its future home, Andy Ogles is “offended” by Morgan Ortagus, Lee Beaman is back at Belmont, and the former senator who made it legal to have up to a gallon of booze on you in every Tennessee county has died.

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New TNJ alert: A pricey plan to revive the old Legislative Plaza, a new deputy governor, and an interview with Ortagus

_ Planned overhaul of old legislative complex costlier than new one, state to ‘dispose’ of controversial office tower.

_ Legislative roundup: Campbell approved for Supreme Court, standardized test requirement punted in Senate.

_ The outsider’s insider: Butch Eley named top Lee deputy.

_ Congressional races: An interview with Morgan Ortagus after she jumps into the 5th District race with Trump’s endorsement in hand.

Also: David Lillard doubles down on fossil fuel investments, a “mysterious man” walks along the Smokies, battle lines are forming in the Hamilton County mayor’s race, and a very large check arrives in an unmarked envelope.

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Or subscribe here.

Ortagus makes 5th District bid official

Former State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus is making her congressional bid official. Former President Donald Trump’s endorsement of Ortagus on Jan. 25 came as a surprise to many observers in Tennessee political circles and spawned a backlash among some conservatives who preferred the candidacy of music video producer Robby Starbuck.

UPDATE: Attorney and retired National Guard Brig. Gen. Kurt Winstead has filed papers to start raising money for a bid for the GOP nomination. So has Williamson County businessman Baxter Lee.

Ortagus’ launch video hits on familiar Trump-heavy themes:

Here’s the release from the Ortagus camp:

NASHVILLE, TN — Today, former Trump State Department spokeswoman, active duty Navy Reserve Officer and business executive, Morgan Ortagus, formally announced her bid to represent Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional District. On January 25th, President Trump announced his “complete and total endorsement” of her candidacy.

Speaking about the announcement, Ortagus said, “In President Trump’s Administration I fought for conservative policies that put America first, but now, we must fight harder than we ever have before to push back against the Democrats’ extremism. We built the wall, created a strong economy, stood up to our adversaries, and promoted freedom at home and abroad, but the Biden Administration and their radical Democrat allies in Congress are dead-set on undoing that good work. As a U.S. Navy Reserve Officer, I am answering the call to service, and I will never back down from fighting for my country and the good people of Tennessee to stand for American greatness. I’m grateful to have President Trump’s support, and I look forward to earning your vote and standing with you to protect our conservative values.“

Morgan Ortagus is an active U.S. Navy Reserve Officer and a business executive. She served in President Trump’s Department of State. Morgan and her husband Jonathan have a daughter, Adina, who is the light of their lives. They live in Nashville.

Trump makes endorsement in GOP primary for 5th District

Morgan Ortagus

Former President Donald Trump is endorsing Morgan Ortagus, a former spokeswoman to then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, for the Republican nomination in the new-look 5th Congressional District. Provided, of course, that she becomes a candidate for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Nashville).

Ortagus is a former commentator on Fox News who joined Nashville-based Rubicon Founders, a health care investment firm launched by ex-Landmark Health CEO Adam Boehler, after leaving the Trump administration.

“I am told the very strong and impressive Morgan Ortagus is exploring a run for Congress in Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District,” Trump said in a statement issued through his Save America PAC. “I couldn’t be happier because she’s an absolute warrior for America First and MAGA!

“Morgan was fantastic in her role working with Secretary Mike Pompeo at the U.S. State Department and understands the threats posed by China, Russia, Iran and others, and will be tough, not just roll over like the Democrats and RINOs,” he said. “She serves in the U.S. Navy Reserves and will fight for our Military. She won’t bow to the Woke Mob or the Leftist LameStream Media. Morgan Ortagus will have my Complete and Total Endorsement if she decides to run!”

The only officially announced GOP candidate so far is video producer Robbie Starbuck, who has been endorsed by U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). Others considering bids include former state House Speaker Beth Harwell, attorney and retired National Guard general Kurt Winstead, entrepreneur Baxter Lee, and Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles.