tracy miller

State GOP names own panel to oversee disputed leadership vote in Williamson County

Tracy Miller, right, and his brother, Andy Miller Jr., attend Tennessee Registry of Election Finance meeting in Nashville on Oct. 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)

The state Republican Party has stepped into named a special committee to oversee a disputed leadership election in Williamson County after the previous panel resigned in protest.

The new panel includes several who are close to state executive committee members Cindi Miller, who has declined to recuse herself from proceedings while her husband, Tracy Miller, seeks the chairmanship of the local party.

Officials in Williamson County had wanted to enforce the state GOP rules limiting participation in the convention to bona fide party members — i.e., those who have voted in three of the last four primaries — or those who had voted in at least two nomination contests and had written letter from party leaders vouching for them. But Cindi Miller and the state party favored an additional process by which anyone can be vouched for by any member of the state or local executive committee, regardless of past primary voting or party involvement. Critics worry the change will allow Miller to approve or reject voters to her husband’s election contest.

UPDATE: Tracy Miller won the election. Party Chair Scott Golden said a record 609 people voted.

Following the decision, four members of the Williamson County executive committee resigned, including Trey Jones (a staffer for the state Senate’s Government Operations Committee), Annie Osteen, Kilynn Schueler, and Chad Story. Another member, Rachelle McCalmon (the wife of freshman Rep. Jake McCalmon of Franklin), had stepped down earlier.

Here’s the email sent out by the state GOP on Sunday evening.

Dear Williamson County Republicans,

The TNGOP wishes to inform you of the official proceedings regarding the 2023 Williamson GOP Reorganization. 

The previous contest and credentials committee resigned yesterday. While unfortunate, it is the duty of the Tennessee Republican Party to make sure the election process is unhindered and continues to run smoothly. With that, we are happy to announce the hard-working members who stood up to be a part of the new Contest and Credentials Committee. Their names are as follows:

Brenda Davis

Sandi Wells

Holly Ramsey 

Romonte Hamer 

Linda Kollmann 

Judy Oxford

David Grimmett as parliamentarian

The details for the reorganization are the same and are as follows: 

Tuesday, April 18th

Doors open at 4:45 – close at 5:45 p.m.

The convention will begin promptly at 6:00 pm

The Factory at Franklin

Liberty Hall

230 Franklin Rd.

Franklin, TN 37064

Pre-Register for the Convention NOTE: In order to ensure a timely check-in process, we request anyone who plans on attending the convention and has not already done so to pre-register HERE

Convention Voting Eligibility Criteria:

1. Current Williamson County registered voter and resident.

2. Must be actively involved in the state or county Republican party or a recognized Republican auxiliary organization of either.

3. Have voted in at least 3 of the last 4 statewide primary elections: (August 2022, August 2020, March 2020, August 2018).

4.  Voters that did not vote in the 3 of the 4 statewide primary elections will have to be vouched for by any member of the Williamson GOP Executive Committee to the satisfaction of the Williamson GOP State Executive Members.  

We are looking forward to having such excitement surrounding a county election. This shows that the Republican Party continues to grow and develop with each passing day. If anyone has any questions, please contact Tyler Burns at [redacted]. Thanks and have a wonderful Sunday.

Williamson County GOP officials resign over alleged ‘self-dealing’ in leadership contest

Tracy Miller, right, and his brother, Andy Miller Jr., attend Tennessee Registry of Election Finance meeting in Nashville on Oct. 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)

Officials responsible for putting together a leadership election for the Williamson County Republican Party have resigned over what they are calling “fraud, misconduct, and corrupt self-dealing” by state GOP leadership and state executive committee members Steve Allbrooks and Cindi Miller. The latter is the wife of Tracy Miller, who is seeking to become the new chair.

“The Contest and Credentials Committee has resolved that we will not lend our reputations to a corrupt reorganization process that deviates from our stated standards and bylaws, and the outcome of which will be incurably tainted by the breach of trust that produced it,” the committee said in a Saturday email obtained by The Tennessee Journal.

Tracy Miller is the brother of Andy Miller, who is identified as an unindicted co-conspirator in the federal campaign finance conspiracy case against former state Sen. Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown). The Miller brothers in 2016 agreed to pay $7.75 million to settle allegations they defrauded the federal military healthcare program through a pharmaceutical business they ran in Florida. Several state lawmakers, including former Rep. Jeremy Durham (R-Franklin), a fellow unindicted co-conspirator in the Kelsey indictment, invested into Miller companies using campaign funds.

The appointed members of the Williamson County GOP’s contest and credentials committee wanted to require participants in next week’s convention to adhere to state party rules for bona fide Republicans, i.e., those who had voted in at least three of the last four primaries. But they said they were told those restrictions were “not set in stone” and individual cases would be decided solely by members of of the state executive committee. Cindi Miller has refused to recuse herself despite what the local party officials call a “clear conflict of interest” over her husband’s candidacy, “essentially allowing her to handpick her husband’s voters.”

Cheryl Brown, the Williamson County GOP’s first black chair, had planned to run again. But it’s now uncertain she will seek another term.

“As currently positioned, the scheduled mass convention is subject to legitimate allegations of fraud, self-dealing, and manipulation,” the letter said.

The group wants Tuesday’s convention either canceled or rescheduled. State GOP Chair Scott Golden did not immediately respond to a text message seeking comment.

Read the full missive here:

Williamson County Republicans,

It is with profound disappointment that we, the duly appointed members of the Williamson County Republican Party (W.C.R.P.) Contest and Credentials Committee, must inform you that we can no longer guarantee a fair and legitimate election for county party officers in the upcoming reorganization convention. Due to the bad-faith actions of the leadership of the Tennessee Republican Party (T.R.P.) and State Executive Committee members Cyndi Miller and Steve Allbrooks, we cannot, in good conscience, offer our acquiescence to a rigged and deceptive process that deliberately undermines the rights of lifelong, loyal Republicans in Williamson County to an orderly and credible county convention that adheres to proper rules and bylaws.

Our duties to our Party and its members are outlined in our written and published bylaws, and we have made every effort to adhere to the same in investing our time, money, and labor to planning and promoting the upcoming reorganization convention. Through either intentional acts or general indifference, T.R.P. officials have required us to deviate from the stated guidelines for determining the bona fide status for voting members, stripped the Contest and Credentials Committee from our obligation and ultimate authority to determine the same, and, in turn, empowered State Executive Committee members Mrs. Miller and Mr. Allbrooks with the ultimate authority to employ undefined and arbitrary standards for determining who has the right to vote and participate in our county party convention.

Although the existing T.R.P. and W.C.R.P. bylaws identify clear criteria for determining the “bona fide Republican” status of individuals based upon voting history and active involvement with the Party, including requiring a voting history of participation in 3 out of the last 4 Statewide Republican primaries, officials with the Tennessee Republican Party informed the W.C.R.P. that these stated criteria were not set in stone and that the final determination of bona fide status – regardless of voting history or scope of active involvement – would rest solely with the State Executive Committee. In an attempt to establish clear, predictable, and evenly-applied standards regarding the rules for who may be admitted as a “bona fide Republican” to participate in the convention and to provide the standards to our members well before the day of the convention, the Contest & Credentials Committee met with our district State Executive Committee members Mrs. Miller, Mr. Allbrooks, W.C.R.P.’s Executive Committee, and T.R.P. staff on March 21, 2023. At this meeting, all parties came to a consensus agreement on the specific eligibility criteria that the T.R.P. and State Executive Committee members would honor and that the Contest and Credentials Committee would use to notify voters of their eligibility status.

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