wilson county

Read Susan Lynn’s public apology to Mae Beavers

As first reported in the print edition of the The Tennessee Journal, the yearslong acrimony between Rep. Susan Lynn and former Sen. Mae Beavers (both R-Mt. Juliet) appears to have reached a conclusion of sorts.

Lynn, who was chair of the powerful House Finance Committee under then-Speaker Glen Casada, is running a public apology in Wilson County newspapers. The move comes after Beavers sued Lynn in 2019 for allegedly spreading rumors about Beavers breaking into her home and trying to have her killed.

When Beavers announced plans to run for Wilson County mayor in 2010, Lynn promptly declared she would run for the vacated Senate seat. But Beavers changed her mind and ran for re-election instead, claiming victory by 6 points. Lynn later won back the House seat she had given up to run for the upper chamber.

Beavers resigned her seat in the Senate to run for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2018. But she dropped out of the contest, endorsing longshot candidate Bill Lee’s status as an outsider who, like Donald Trump on the national level, would “take on the permanent political class in Nashville.” Nearly a year after he took office, Lee named Beavers to the Board of Parole.

Watson aide Wittum leaning toward congressional bid in new 5th District

Senate Finance Chairman Bo Watson (R-Chattanooga) and other check their watches awaiting the time for Gov. Bill Lee, right, to enter the House chamber to deliver his first State of the State address in Nashville on March 4, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Tres Wittum, a research analyst to state Senate Finance Chair Bo Watson (R-Chattanooga), is considering a bid for the newly drawn 5th Congressional District.

Wittum, who once mulled a Republican primary challenge of U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann in the 3rd District, was among potential 5th District candidates introducing themselves at a Wilson County Republican Party event over the weekend.

“I have worked in the Tennessee legislature for 11 years,” he said. “I do serve the chairman of Senate Finance, Ways, and Means, who is a tough, tough, tough fiscal hawk. So when it comes to budgeting, believe me, I have been educated by the best.”

Wittum was briefly the chair of the Davidson County Republican Party in 2017, but was ousted by the GOP’s state executive committee after a challenge to his bona fides for failing to have voted in enough statewide primaries.

Wittum noted that he first came to Tennessee to work on the 2009 Hannah Montana movie.

“It’s kind of like deja vu. It’s like, you worked on movie where you’re trying to save a community through Tennessee values away from the big construction from New York and LA, which is interesting, because it looks like we’re probably gonna be doing that here in this congressional race.”

“Politics is like Hollywood for the ugly,” he said. “So, here here I am. And I’m ready to play. Thank you.”

Those running for the Republican nomination so far include former state House Speaker Beth Harwell, former U.S. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus, music video producer Robby Starbuck, and retired National Guard Brig. Gen. Kurt Winstead. Businessman Baxter Lee has filed papers to raise money, but hasn’t formally announced his candidacy.