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TNGOP: Gov. Jindal Visit Thrusts Memphis into National Spotlight

Press release from the Tennessee Republican Party; March 20, 2015:

Potential Presidential Candidate Touts Success as a Leader, Vision for the Country at TNGOP Event

MEMPHIS, Tenn.—The Tennessee Republican Party today welcomed Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to the Bluff City for the TNGOP Leadership Series Event. The Governor comes to the Volunteer State riding a wave of conservative enthusiasm after an impressive performance at last month’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.

Tonight’s event features special guest Congressman Stephen Fincher and the Shelby County Republican Party is serving as an honorary host for the Leadership Series event.

Jindal is a potential Republican presidential candidate known for his intellectual prowess and commitment to conservative principles.

TNGOP Chairman Chris Devaney remarked, “We’re proud to welcome a reformer in chief of the caliber of Governor Jindal to Tennessee. As the 2016 election approaches, Americans are looking for a leader who has a track record of enacting conservative reforms and will lead based on Republican principles. Gov. Jindal certainly fits that mold and we’re anxious to hear what he has to say at tonight’s Leadership Series event.”

Gov. Jindal stated, “Thank you Chairman Devaney and the Tennessee Republican Party for having me here today. I’ve been to Tennessee several times, and it’s always great to come to a state that has been a true success story for conservative reform. Tonight, I’ll talk about preserving the American Dream and how Conservative leadership can pave the way forward for our nation and return us to a path of prosperity and security.”

Devaney added, “Tennessee is going to play an important role in determining the next Republican nominee and, I suspect, Gov. Jindal will figure prominently in that discussion.”

TNGOP: Jeb Bush Headlining 2015 Statesmen’s Dinner

Press release from the Tennessee Republican Party; February 19, 2015:

U.S. Rep. Diane Black to serve as Event Chairman; Statesmen’s is “the perfect forum to come and deliver an optimistic, dynamic case for conservatism”

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—2016 is here.

In the latest sign that the 2016 presidential race is heating up, the Tennessee Republican Party today announced that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush will headline the Party’s annual Statesmen’s Dinner in Nashville — the largest annual gathering of Republicans in Tennessee. Gov. Bush, who announced recently he was actively exploring a run for the White House in 2016, joins an impressive list of leaders who have spoken at the dinner.

“As an early primary state, Tennessee in an important place in Republican politics. This is the perfect forum to come and deliver an optimistic, dynamic case for conservatism. We need a bold reformer leading our nation. As Florida’s Governor and as a public servant, that’s exactly the reputation Gov. Bush has built. We look forward to welcoming Jeb Bush to Nashville,” said TNGOP ChairmanChris Devaney.

Devaney also announced that Congressman Diane Black (TN-06) will serve as the 2015 Statesmen’s Dinner Chair. Cong. Black will play an instrumental role in the dinner, which is the TNGOP’s largest yearly fundraising event.

“Cong. Black is the perfect chair for this important occasion. She has quickly become known as a conservative solutions-seeker both in Washington and here at home. In fact, this event will showcase how Tennessee is leading our country with bold ideas, effective leadership, and a conservative philosophy,” he noted.

Congressman Black stated, “Each year, the Statesmen’s Dinner offers a chance to recognize our dedicated Republican activists here at home and listen to some of the brightest minds in the conservative movement from across the country. I am honored to lead the effort to once again make this Tennessee’s premier political event of the year.”

The 2015 Statesmen’s Dinner will take place on Saturday, May 30th in Nashville. Tickets may be purchased by going to www.statesmensdinner.com or calling Taylor Ferrell at 615.269.4260.

About Governor Bush

Jeb Bush served as the 43rd Governor of the State of Florida from 1999-2007. During his tenure, he remained true to his conservative principles—cutting nearly $20 billion in taxes, vetoing more than $2.3 billion in earmarks, and reducing the state government workforce by more than 13,000. His limited government approach helped unleash one of the most robust and dynamic economies in the nation, creating 1.4 million net new jobs and improving the state’s credit ratings.

Background

  • Last year, the TNGOP Statesmen’s Dinner featured New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and he helped the Party raise record breaking contribution numbers.
  • Coverage of the 2014 Statesmen’s Dinner can be found here and here.
  • Past Statesmen’s speakers include: Former Vice President Dick Cheney, 2012 GOP Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney, former President George W. Bush, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and US. Senator Tim Scott.
  • The 2015 Statesmen’s Dinner announcement is the first of several upcoming events that will feature prominent potential Republican presidential candidates who are coming to Tennessee at the invitation of the Tennessee Republican Party.

TNGOP: Ball Making Excuses ‘Reminiscent of a 6th Grader’

Press release from the Tennessee Republican Party; September 23, 2014:

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—While personal injury lawyer and Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate Gordon Ball claims he never received a National Rifle Association survey, the NRA points out that’s just not true. The Second Amendment rights organization explained to the Memphis Commercial Appeal the NRA sent the survey to Ball as they do for all candidates.

From the CA report:

NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said the organization mailed its survey to Ball at the Knoxville address listed on his candidate registration form. ‘He never returned the questionnaire. We changed his grade from a question mark to an ‘F’ based on an interview he did. Bottom line is he’s anti-gun, and we’ll make sure every gun owner in Tennessee knows it.’

In response to Gordon Ball’s lame attempt at crafting an excuse reminiscent of a 6th grader, Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney stated, “Gordon Ball blaming the NRA for his own dismal record and F-rating on Second Amendment rights may be the most transparent evidence yet of how far this slick personal injury lawyer will go to distract Tennesseans from the fact that he’d be one more vote for Barack Obama’s anti-gun agenda. The NRA says it sent Ball its questionnaire. Ball should be forthright with Tennesseans about how he earned his F, instead of claiming that the dog ate his homework.”

Background

TNGOP: Union Push for Ball More Proof He’s On Board with the ‘Obama Agenda’

Press release from the Tennessee Republican Party; September 19, 2014:

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—An extensive ground game and targeting Senator Lamar Alexander. That’s the roadmap for unions in the upcoming November election.

Last night, on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show,” two union bosses highlighted their plans to push Democrats to the polls in the fall.

Leo Gerard, of the steelworkers union, and Larry Cohen, of the communications union, made the comments in response to the host’s question about what unions plan to do. In particular, Cohen discussed making Senator Alexander — who would be chairman of the Senate labor committee in a new Republican Senate majority — the “poster-child” against their efforts because of his strong anti-union stances in the U.S. Senate and defense of Tennessee’s right-to-work laws.

The TNGOP captured the conversation here.

With the news today of his “F-rating” on the 2nd Amendment from the National Rifle Association, Tennessee Democrats’ nominee for the Senate, liberal personal injury lawyer Gordon Ball, is going to need the help from unions in his attempt to defeat Senator Alexander. The AFL-CIO has already endorsed Ball, and now it’s clear union bosses plan to make Lamar Alexander a target this fall.

Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney stated, “Liberals are already starting to circle the wagons—in Tennessee and beyond. They know Senator Alexander is going to be a leader in the new Republican Senate majority and they’re desperate to get their base engaged. Unfortunately for Gordon Ball, this information just proves once more he’d be a vote for the Obama agenda in Washington.”

Background

Ball Responds to TNGOP Attack: Alexander Voted with Obama 62 Percent of Time

Press release from the Gordon Ball Campaign for U.S. Senate; September 16, 2014:

“Sen. Lamar Alexander has voted with President Barack Obama 62 percent of the time. I have voted with him 0 percent of the time,” U.S. Senate Candidate Gordon Ball said after learning that the TNGOP had launched a website and video attacking him as ‘another vote for Obama. “I have said consistently that Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell and Lamar Alexander should be replaced. If we want to change Washington, we have to change the people in Washington.”

“The bottom line is that in the primary I was painted as far right and now in the general, the partisan attack is that I’m a liberal,” Ball said. “It’s apparent I fall in the middle in the same mold as Ned Ray McWherter and Phil Bredesen.”

“As the Knoxville News Sentinel’s Tom Humphrey wrote on his website, they are concerned enough about our campaign to take the time, energy and money to come after me,” Ball added. “I find it to be encouraging and energizing as we reach out to Tennesseans who are tired of career politicians like Alexander. We must be doing something right.”

The facts speak for themselves, Ball has sued health insurance companies over their refusal to compete with each other which causes health care costs to be higher. Ball is a gun owner and pro second amendment.

He has said across the state that everyone is pro-life, but that voting no on Amendment 1 allows women to make their health decisions.

“Women’s healthcare should not be dictated by the government and elected officials,” Ball said. Alexander will vote to allow the Tennessee legislature to make those decisions for women.

Ball, who has been campaigning this past week in Memphis and upper east Tennessee will be in Nashville this week for the Tennesseans Against Common Core rally as well as hosting a breakfast for the executive committee that represents the Tennessee Democratic Party across the state.

TN GOP: Ball On Board with Obama Agenda

Press release from the Tennessee Republican Party; September 15, 2014:

State Republican Party launches new web ad and new site, ObamaBallAgenda.com, to expose Gordon Ball’s support for Barack Obama’s liberal agenda

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—President Barack Obama has his sights set on Tennessee this fall.

While Tennessee has increasingly become a Republican stronghold, Washington Democrats believe they have an opening to gain a foothold in the Volunteer State with the November 4th election. In the last few months, news reports have surfaced that reveal a secretive liberal agenda targeting Tennessee. Whether it is with a former OFA staffer running for Congress or the funding of a liberal strategist for a pro-abortion campaign against Amendment One, it’s clear Democrats believe Tennessee can be turned into a battleground.

And, at the top of the ticket, will be a man who would be one more vote for Barack Obama’s harmful agenda — Gordon Ball. Mr. Ball, a liberal personal injury lawyer from Knoxville, will only serve to empower Obama and strengthen Washington’s stranglehold on our economy.

“Ball’s thin record and slick plan to fool voters should be alarming to Tennesseans,” said Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney. “Like many Democrats in Tennessee—and every personal injury lawyer I’ve come across—Ball will try to cloak himself with conservative rhetoric in order to win. But the reality is: He’ll be one more vote for Barack Obama’s agenda. His commitment to ObamaCare and the fact he would help President Obama impose more job-destroying taxes and regulations, all while eroding our Second Amendment rights and the rights of the unborn, proves he wouldn’t be a bluedog—he’d be Obama’s lapdog in the Senate.”

To counter the efforts of the Tennessee Democratic Party and Gordon Ball’s own self-financed public image campaign, the Tennessee Republican Party today announces the creation of a new website designed to be a strategic resource center for voters and journalists alike. The site, ObamaBallAgenda.com, will reveal the truth about Gordon Ball’s record and explore his support for the liberal Obama agenda.

Additionally, the TNGOP released a :30 web advertisement that can be seen by clicking here, that highlights Gordon Ball’s campaign to be one more reliable vote for Barack Obama’s reckless agenda in Washington.

Devaney added, “Tennessee has been at the forefront in the conservative movement. We’ve had–and continue to have–outstanding leaders who look for solutions and reflect the values of our citizens. This fall, we have the chance to return one of those leaders, Senator Lamar Alexander, back to the Senate to defend us from President Obama. The last thing voters should do is be tricked by Gordon Ball’s campaign–an effort that promises to be as slick and contrived as the candidate himself.”
Background

The liberal agenda in Tennessee will take several forms this fall, including:

AG Issues Opinion on Kyle Senate Seat Vacancy

Tennessee’s top lawyer has waded into the issue of how to pick nominees for November’s general election to fill the seat of retiring Sen. Jim Kyle.

Unless the executive committee members are selected at large, the candidates for Senate are to be “nominated by the members of the party’s county executive committee who represent the precincts composing Senate District 30,” according to Attorney General Bob Cooper’s opinion. The Shelby County Democratic Party’s website says that county executive committee members are “elected from each state House District in Shelby County.”

The executive committee for the county’s Republican Party has members elected both at-large and by district, according to the Shelby County GOP.

The AG released the opinion Thursday morning in response to a request from Kyle, who won a Shelby County Chancery Court judgeship on August 7, and is leaving the General Assembly after 31 years in the Senate. Kyle has said he’ll resign by the end of August.

Kyle was joined in making the inquiry to Cooper’s office by Memphis Democratic Reps. Antonio Parkinson and G.A. Hardaway, who, along with Kyle’s wife, Sara, and former state Sen. Beverly Marrero, have shown interest in filling Kyle’s chair.

On the Republican side, former U.S. Senate candidate and Memphis millionaire radio station owner Dr. George Flinn has indicated he’s considering a run. Barring a significant upset, though, the seat is expected to stay in Democratic hands.

According to the attorney general’s opinion, any House member currently running for reelection who has won their primary, but also wishes to run for the Senate vacancy, must withdraw from the House race before the party’s executive committee meets to make their selection. However, Cooper also wrote that if the candidate withdraws from that race, the party won’t be allowed to nominate another candidate.

The opinion was sought amidst some confusion about whether or not the caucus process the county party officials wanted to use would meet statutory requirements.

While he had not yet read the opinion Thursday afternoon, the spokesman for the Tennessee Department of State, Blake Fontenay, said the Division of Elections would “defer” to the the decision of the state’s attorney, and “would act consistently with their ruling.”

Tracy Concedes to DesJarlais in 4th District

Letter from State Sen. Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville; August 25, 2014:

Dear Friends and Supporters,

I am announcing my decision about whether or not to file a contest of the August 7th Republican Primary for the Fourth Congressional District. When I started this campaign, my goal was to offer the citizens of the 4th District a choice in who to represent them in Congress. I presented my plan to offer conservative, effective leadership, and my opponents offered theirs. And after over 75,000 votes were cast in the Republican Primary, less than 40 votes separated the incumbent Congressman and me.

Our campaign staff and volunteers have been diligently gathering and analyzing information from all 16 counties in the District. Through the Secretary of State’s Office, as well as directly, we have communicated with the County Election Commissions. Our staff has attended many of the meetings at which Election Commissions counted provisional ballots, as well the meetings at which the Election Commissions certified the votes in all of the August 7th elections. A great deal of information has come to me through formal and informal sources.

For example, there were votes by people who were not on the rolls and should have cast provisional ballots, but voted on machines so there was no way to determine whether those were legal votes. There were voters who were not given ballots for the primary election, but only for the General Election. There are counties that are split between the Fourth District and a different district, either the Seventh or the Third, and we know of at least one voter who was given a ballot for the wrong Congressional District. We know of a voter who was told that he had already voted, when he had not, which leads to the inference that other voters were told the same thing and did not take the time to assert their rights.

We have consulted with knowledgeable people, and I have consulted with my family and, most importantly I have prayed for guidance. In the end, the decision of whether or not to file a contest was mine and mine alone.

I have decided to refrain from contesting this election. I am not willing to put the State Republican Primary Board, the Secretary of State’s Office and Division of Elections, the County Election Commissions, the campaign staff, my volunteers, my family and the public through additional weeks of litigation, with uncertainty as to who the nominee will be.

State law provides that ballots must be ready to send out to military, overseas and other absentee voters 45 days before the November election, and I am not willing to put them in a difficult position. A contest would not be the right thing for the Republican Party and the conservative cause in Tennessee. Contests of primary elections are extremely compressed. The Fourth District is geographically widespread. Under state law, if there is a recount, all votes in every county must be recounted, even in counties where we are confident that the counts were accurate. A recount does not uncover votes that were illegal or that were illegally kept from being cast. These factors weigh against a contest.

I assure the public that the Secretary of State’s office, and the Division of Elections in that office, have been responsive, fair and objective and have done their job in an exemplary way. That office is in the best of hands. Chairman Chris Devaney, the staff and the counsel for the Tennessee Republican Primary Board went into action immediately after Election Night to prepare for a contest, and I thank them. I am forever grateful to my family, staff, volunteers, contributors, and the voters who placed their faith in me and have encouraged me throughout the campaign and in this decision-making period. I also want to comment that the press has reported fairly, neutrally and calmly, and I sincerely appreciate their demeanor.

I have called Rep. DesJarlais to inform him of my decision to concede and congratulated him. One reason why I am at peace about my decision is that I am devoted to my service as the Senator from the Fourteenth Senatorial District of Tennessee. Serving the people of the Fourteenth District and helping to make Tennessee a better place to live, work, do business and go to school is a high honor. I will continue to serve in the Senate with dedication, energy and integrity. Much is at stake for our country and our state; I look forward to helping us meet the challenges ahead.

God bless and Thank you,

Jim Tracy

DesJarlais Win Looking Likely

The ballot-counts aren’t yet certified and there’s just a few dozen votes separating the top two contenders, but the battle to represent the Republican Party in Tennessee’s Fourth Congressional District this November looks to be all but won for incumbent Scott DesJarlais.

Provisional ballots in all of the district’s counties have been counted, and the gap between the two candidates hasn’t changed much the past few days. In fact, DesJarlais gained five votes while his challenger, state Sen. Jim Tracy, earned just two. The Franklin County Election Commission met Friday afternoon to examine a single provisional ballot, which was deemed invalid.

DesJarlais now leads Tracy by 38 votes. Following the Aug. 7 primary, Desjarlais led Tracy 34,787 votes to 34,752 votes — a 35 vote difference.

DesJarlais has called on Tracy to concede, though Tracy has indicated he is going to wait until all votes are certified by the State Election Commission on Aug. 25. Tracy has up to five days after the votes are certified to request a recount.

DesJarlais, who is a physician, is generally regarded as a dependably anti-Obama Tea-Party conservative in Congress. And he declares himself an abortion foe. But Tracy, who announced his challenge to DesJarlais in January 2013, sought to capitalize on a scandals from the incumbent congressman’s past involving extramarital affairs and assertions he told a mistress to seek an abortion when informed he’d impregnated her. DesJarlais has said the woman was lying about being pregnant.

With a DesJarlais victory looking likely, the Democratic challenger he’ll face, Lenda Sherrell, told WPLN that she doesn’t plan to focus on his past personal issues during her campaign to unseat him. Sherrell picked up an endorsement this week from Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, who is also a former Democratic state senator.

Devaney Congratulates Haslam on ‘Overwhelming Victory’

Press release from the Tennessee Republican Party; August 7, 2014:

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney released the following statement regarding Governor Bill Haslam’s Republican primary win:

“Congratulations to Governor Bill Haslam on his overwhelming victory in tonight’s Republican primary. Governor Haslam’s visionary leadership has jumpstarted our economy, revamped our education system, and set our state on a path of achievement. He’s been an outstanding leader for our State and I look forward to telling voters about his positive message this fall.”