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TNGOP Announces More Featured ‘Red to the Roots’ Candidates

Press release from the Tennessee Republican Party; August 4, 2014:

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—According to Secretary of State Tre Hargett, early voting in Tennessee wrapped up on Saturday with a five percent increase from the 2010 early voting period. In fact, Tennessee Republicans may be on their way to participating in the largest August election in state history.

With that news and the fact that so many Republican county and judicial candidates are fighting for every vote, Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney and Red to the Roots Chairman, Representative Ryan Williams (R—Cookeville), announced the newest Featured Candidates for the Red to the Roots program.

“Republicans are turning out in a significant way to help our Party continue its winning ways across the state,” said Williams. “Voters have seen the hard work put in by Republicans at the state and federal level. Whether it’s cutting taxes, maintaining the lowest debt in the nation, or creating more jobs, voters want that same type of leadership at the local level.”

Devaney added, “This group of candidates, like our previous two groups, includes candidates who possess a wealth of experience and energy to make a difference in their communities. They have proven themselves by articulating a message of reform that voters are rallying around. We want to see that momentum continue on Election Day.”

The Featured Candidates are:

Terry Frank – The incumbent and Republican nominee for Anderson County Mayor.

Jim Gotto – The Republican nominee for State House in the 60th District (Davidson).

Vince Dean – The Republican nominee for Hamilton County Criminal Court Clerk.

Graham Stowe – The Republican nominee for Giles County Mayor.

Tom DuBois – The Republican nominee for Circuit Court Judge in the 22nd Judicial District (Giles, Lawrence, Maury, and Wayne Counties).

Vicki Hoover – The Republican nominee for Circuit Court Judge in the 24th Judicial District (Benton, Carroll, Decatur, Hardin, and Henry Counties).

“These six individuals all have a record of accomplishment that I know will respond to the priorities of voters in Tennessee. We’re proud to support them and urge all voters to do the same,” concluded Devaney.

By naming these individuals as Featured Candidates, the Tennessee Republican Party encourages supporters, donors, and activists to work to elect these Republican nominees on Election Day, August 7th. These candidates join previously announced candidates from earlier this cycle (see list below).

Background

Red to the Roots is a program designed to elect more Republicans at the county and judicial level, while bolstering support for GOP legislative candidates.

2014 witnessed more Republicans running for office than ever before in Tennessee.

Terry Frank’s website: http://terryfrank.org/

Jim Gotto’s website: http://www.jimgotto.com/

Vince Dean’s website: http://www.votevincedean.net/

Graham Stowe’s website: http://www.votestowe.com/

Tom DuBois’ website: https://www.facebook.com/DuboisforJudge

Vicki Hoover’s website: http://www.hoover4judge.com/

Previous Featured Candidates:

Amy Weirich – the current incumbent and Republican nominee for Shelby County District Attorney

Brent Cooper – the Republican nominee for District Attorney in the 22nd Judicial District (Giles, Lawrence, Maury, Wayne Counties).

Sheena Ramsey Tinsley – the Republican nominee for Register of Deeds in Sullivan County.

John Wang – the Republican nominee for State House in the 53rd District (Davidson)

Carma Dennis McGee – the incumbent and Republican nominee for Chancellor in the 24th Judicial District (Benton, Carroll, Decatur, Hardin, Henry Counties).

Alicia Mumpower – The Republican nominee for Sullivan County Trustee.

Ann Strong – The Republican nominee for Crockett County Mayor.

Bill Ailor – The Republican nominee for Circuit Court Judge in the 6th Judicial District, which is Knox County.

Justin Angel – The Republican nominee for Circuit Court Judge in the 12th Judicial District (Bledsoe, Franklin, Grundy, Marion, Rhea, and Sequatchie Counties).

Mark Luttrell – The incumbent and the Republican nominee for Mayor of Shelby County.

Troy Brewer – The Republican nominee for State House in the 50th District (Davidson).

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TN GOP Announces Red to the Roots ‘Featured Candidates’

Press release from the Tennessee Republican Party; July 10, 2014:

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Red to the Roots is gaining steam across the Volunteer State.

Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney and Red to the Roots Chairman State Representative Ryan Williams (R–Cookeville) today jointly announced the next group of rising conservatives across the state.

“These are the next generation of leaders in our state. They have serious solutions for the issues voters care about and they’re going to make a difference in their communities,” said Devaney.

Williams commented, “Red to the Roots is a program designed to support Republican candidates who have a vision that aligns with the needs of their communities. Whether it is judicial candidates who will protect the Constitution, mayoral candidates who know how to recruit jobs, or local candidates who will guard taxpayer resources from wasteful spending, these individuals are part of an ideas revolution at the county and judicial level in Tennessee. I’m proud to offer our support for these people.”

The Featured Candidates are:

Alicia Mumpower – The Republican nominee for Sullivan County Trustee.

Ann Strong – The Republican nominee for Crockett County Mayor.

Bill Ailor – The Republican nominee for Circuit Court Judge in the 6th Judicial District, which is Knox County.

Justin Angel – The Republican nominee for Circuit Court Judge in the 12th Judicial District (Bledsoe, Franklin, Grundy, Marion, Rhea, and Sequatchie Counties).

Mark Luttrell – The incumbent and the Republican nominee for Mayor of Shelby County.

Troy Brewer – The Republican nominee for State House in the 50th District (Davidson).

Devaney concluded, “Our Party has the momentum in Tennessee and, with the help of these candidates, I believe we can keep it going at the local level. Tennesseans want solutions for the problems our communities are facing, they want government to live within its means, and they want a judiciary that respects the Constitution. This group embodies those ideals.”

By being named Featured Candidates, the Tennessee Republican Party encourages supporters, donors, and activists to work to elect these Republican nominees.

Background

Red to the Roots is a program designed to elect more Republicans at the county and judicial level, while bolstering support for GOP legislative candidates.

2014 witnessed more Republicans running for office than ever before in Tennessee.

Alicia Mumpower’s website: https://www.facebook.com/AliciaMumpowerforTrustee

Ann Strong’s website: http://www.annstrong.net/

Bill Ailor’s website: http://www.billailorforjudge.com/

Justin Angel’s website: http://justin4judge.com/

Mayor Mark Luttrell’s website: http://markluttrellformayor.com/

Troy Brewer’s website: http://www.troybrewerfortn.com/

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Devaney Elected to RNC Budget Committee

Press release from the Tennessee Republican Party; August 16, 2013:

BOSTON, Mass.—On the final day of business at the Republican National Committee’s summer meeting, Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney was unanimously elected to fill an opening on the RNC’s influential Budget Committee.

The Budget Committee is a permanent committee of the RNC and is tasked with the responsibility of “developing a budget” as well as “reviewing the income and expenditures of the Republican National Committee.”

The Budget Committee is composed of eleven members of the Republican National Committee, three of whom are appointed by the chairman of the Republican National Committee, and each of the four regions shall elect two members, one man and one woman. Devaney fills a seat that recently became vacant.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus congratulated Devaney on his election and stated, “Chris Devaney has done a tremendous job leading the Tennessee Republican Party to electoral success and his sound financial stewardship has played a major role in that. I’m proud he is joining our strong team on the Budget Committee.”

The TNGOP has consistently enjoyed fundraising and financial success. The Party consistently outraises its political counterparts and all of its targeted races across the state are fully funded.

Devaney remarked, “I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work with my colleagues on the Budget Committee to ensure our funds continue being utilized in the best way possible to ensure maximum Republican success across the country. Chairman Priebus has put us in a great financial position to be successful in 2014 and beyond. It’s an honor to join this team.”

Earlier this year, Tennessee Republican national committeewoman Peggy Lambert was elected the Southern Region Vice Chair. Tennessee national committeeman John Ryder was appointed to the position of RNC General Counsel.

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TNGOP to Air Presidential ‘Welcome Message’ Touting State’s Economic Success

Press release from the Tennessee Republican Party; July 29, 2013:

NASHVILLE, Tenn.— President Barack Obama will find a different kind of welcome mat rolled out for him in Tennessee when he arrives to tour the Chattanooga Amazon distribution plant on Tuesday. The Tennessee Republican Party has purchased airtime and will broadcast a welcome message to the President detailing the recent successes of the state.

“The message isn’t about President Obama or his feckless leadership on jobs and the economy–everyone is well aware of that dismal record,” stated Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney. “Instead, this ad is about the great things happening here in Tennessee because of Republican principles in action. We hope the President uses this opportunity to see what real leadership looks like and takes those lessons back to Washington. We’re the Party of opportunity and upward mobility in Tennessee and this ad touts that belief.”

The ad, which shows some of Tennessee’s stunning views and important landmarks, has a voiceover that lists just a few of the recent accolades given to Tennessee in the last year stating, “We’re fourth in job creation, top five for business, and the third freest state in the country, thanks to Republican leadership.” The ad continues stating, “In stark contrast to Washington, we’ve got the lowest debt of any state in the nation.”

In 2012 Tennessee’s gross domestic product grew faster than the country as a whole and personal income growth in Tennessee outpaced the country as well.

“Our economy and state are moving forward while we continue to see America stall under President Obama’s damaging economic policies. We hope that President Obama will see that Tennessee is the perfect example of Republican fiscal responsibility and free market approach working to grow the economy, increase personal wealth, and attract jobs. Like the ad says, ‘This is what America should look like,” concluded Devaney.

Click here to view the ad.

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TNGOP Targets Gloria Johnson

Press release from the Tennessee Republican Party; April 25, 2013:

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—As lawmakers return home following the conclusion of the legislative session, Tennesseans are reviewing the public record of their lawmakers and some of what they are finding is embarrassing.

Take, for instance, the record of Representative Gloria Johnson (D—Knoxville).

In a short four-month period as a legislator, Rep. Johnson:

  • Spent the last four months harassing and opposing Governor Bill Haslam’s common sense reform agenda for education and spending.
  • Voted against a bill that protects doctors who provide free medical care to low-income patients who need urgent attention.
  • Filed a self-serving bill she would personally benefit from.
  • Supported the implementation of ObamaCare in Tennessee.
  • Voted to strip worker’s rights protections from Tennessee law.
  • Stood against Knox County teachers having the ability to protect students.
  • Chose to not record a vote on a ban of the state income tax that would protect Tennessee families from having more of their hard-earned money taken by government.
  • Voted against a balanced state budget that meets the needs of our state and cuts taxes for all Tennesseans.
  • Voted against cutting the sales tax on groceries for all Tennesseans.
  • Voted against phasing out the death tax to save Tennessee families and farms from being double-taxed on their assets.
  • Voted against an initiative to find and remove examples of government waste.  

Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney made the following statement about Rep. Johnson’s legislative performance.

“Representative Johnson was sent to Nashville to represent her constituents and this dismal performance was anything but that. It is troubling to see that her priorities were not carrying and passing good legislation, but rather being focused on updating her social media accounts with personal attacks on our leaders. Tennesseans hold their elected officials to a higher standard and expect them to work tirelessly on their behalf. Instead, she put petty personal politics above what’s best for Tennessee.”

He concluded, “I look forward to talking about Gloria Johnson’s embarrassing track record with her constituents over the next year and a half.”

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TNGOP: Legislature Passes Budget Cutting Taxes, Increasing Education Funds

Press release from the Tennessee Republican Party; April 18, 2013:

Republican Lawmakers Pass Balanced Budget, Democrats Try to Backdoor ObamaCare on Tennesseans

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Late in the day on Wednesday, Republicans in the General Assembly passed a $32.7 billion dollar balanced budget that cut taxes for all Tennesseans, increased funding for education, and placed $100 million into the state’s rainy day fund.

Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party Chris Devaney stated, “Senate and House Republicans should be commended for passing a balanced budget that cuts taxes and meets the needs of Tennesseans. Moreover, I am thankful for their leadership in fending off several Democrat attempts to load up this budget with wasteful spending and bad policy.”

The Senate version passed 32-0. But in the House, Democrats attempted to push bad politics and more government spending on the budget with multiple amendments, including a backdoor attempt to bring ObamaCare to Tennessee.

Amendment number three, sponsored by Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh (D—Ripley), sought to add over $3 billion to the budget in an attempt to implement the widely unpopular Medicaid expansion called for under ObamaCare. 26 House Democrat signed onto the amendment (see attached photo). The amendment failed 70-28 with all House Republicans opposing the egregious spending.

Ultimately, the balanced spending plan passed the House 83-14.

“Democrats want to try every conceivable way to hurt the doctor-patient relationship, cause health care premiums to skyrocket, and impose a one-size fits all approach on all of us,” said Devaney. “Tennesseans have continually rejected ObamaCare and yet Democrats are still trying to force feed us this bad policy by copying Washington Democrats’ wasteful spending addiction.”

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TN GOP: Democrats Hit ‘New Low’ With Recent Losses

Press release from the Tennessee Republican Party; April 1, 2013:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — For 150 years, the Tennessee Democratic Party controlled every level of political office in Tennessee. Over the last few years, though, Tennesseans have continually rejected their liberal views driving the Democrats into superminority status across the state.

Last week, a new low was hit by the Democrats as the Party suffered setbacks on key policy and political fronts.

  • Representative Gloria Johnson’s (D—Knoxville) personal privilege bill, House Bill 1301, failed for lack of a second. Johnson, an educator by trade, had been pushing a mandate on local governments to grant leaves of absence—a change to the law that she would personally benefit from.
  • House Bill 898, once amended, would remake the Democratic Party and remove accountability from voters. It was forced to be taken off notice by Republicans who would have no part in such a move.
  • Perhaps most galling to the Democrats’ big government agenda, Governor Bill Haslam said “no to Tennessee Medicaid Expansion”. The move spurned the wishes of Tennessee Democrats who were hoping to see the Governor take part in a broken system.

Democrats were particularly pointed in their comments following the Governor’s announcement. For example:

  • “This is a time when the people of Tennessee need clear, precise and bold leadership, and Governor Haslam offered none of that today.”—Rep. Mike Turner (D—Old Hickory)
  • “Instead we’ve seen more of the hand-wringing and delayed action that we’ve become accustomed to. Lives will be lost while we wait for a real decision.”—House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh (D—Ripley)
  • “Tennessee should choose science instead of selfishness, people instead of politics, life instead of death.”—TNDP Chairman, Roy Herron

Democratic carping surprised many observers, particularly from the three individuals above, who all played important roles in the 2005 TennCare cuts that booted 170,000 Tennesseans from the health care rolls. Apparently, the arguments used now for political purposes to slam the Governor did not carry much weight then.

Fitzhugh championed the cuts in the Legislature: He was the first cosponsor of the 2005 appropriations bill that removed the funding for TennCare and provided an important vote as a top-ranking Democrat. Herron followed suit in the Senate, unmoved by his own “pro-life” beliefs. Turner was so moved by his belief in leadership, in 2005, he voted present.

Presented with all this information, Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party Chris Devaney, stated, “Democrats have sunk to new lows in their attempts to maintain some form of relevancy. Just when you think they’ve hit rock bottom, a new depth of despair is achieved.”

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TNGOP: Turner ‘No Friend to Our Children or Minorities’

Press release from the Tennessee Republican Party; February 14, 2013:

NASHVILLE, Tenn.— Never one to be bound by logic or facts, State Representative Mike Turner (D—Old Hickory) found yet another way to lodge his foot squarely in his mouth.

Speaker of the House Beth Harwell (R—Nashville) and many lawmakers are pushing for statewide charter school authorization. The bill removes government hurdles and allows for Tennessee to attract high-performing charter schools all across the state.

Turner, at a media availability, accused Speaker Harwell of supporting policies that will “lead to resegregation.”

Unfortunately all students are suffering. According to 2011 NAEP data, Tennessee’s public education system:

  • 49th in 4th Grade Math -Scale score 233 (7 points below National Average)
  • 41st in 4th Grade Reading -Scale score 215 (5 points below National Average)
  •  45th in 8th Grade Math -Scale score 274 (9 points below National Average)
  • 41st in 8th Grade Reading -Scale score 259 (5 points below National Average

The proficiency levels in the state are low. In 2011:

  • In 4th Grade Math – 71% of students are below proficient (30% proficient or advance)
  • In 4th Grade Reading – 75% of students are below proficient (26% proficient or advance)
  • In 8th Grade Math – 76% of students are below proficient (24% proficient or advance)
  • In 8th Grade Reading – 73% of students are below proficient (27% proficient or advance)

Chris Devaney, Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party, stated, “Most legislators believe every child in Tennessee deserves the opportunity to receive a high-quality education. Apparently, Mike Turner disagrees with that principle.”

He continued, “While Mike Turner spends time labeling Tennesseans ‘racist,’ he’s continually supporting policies that prop up the status quo and, more alarmingly, weigh down minorities and underprivileged children. Tennesseans want to know why he would continue to defend the current system which study after study shows is failing our students and robbing generation after generation of opportunity.”

According to Tennessee campaign finance data, Turner received:

  • $1,200 in the 2012 campaign cycle from the teacher’s union;
  • $2,500 in the 2010 campaign cycle from the teacher’s union.

“The facts prove Mike Turner is no friend to our children or minorities. Instead of standing with lawmakers who want to reform our poor education system by injecting opportunity and achievement into the equation, he’d rather pocket money from unions who put their own interests ahead of our children. It’s time to undo the mess in education that has been created after 150 years of bad policy, and that’s what our reform-minded legislators are doing now—raising standards and giving parents choices, and students the opportunity, for a better education,” concluded Devaney.

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Devaney: TN Should ‘Take Pride’ in Haslam, ‘Reformer-in-Chief’

Press release from the Tennessee Republican Party; January 28, 2013:

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—With a joint session of the General Assembly hosting him, Governor Bill Haslam today delivered the annual State of the State address to an audience of lawmakers, citizens, and members of the media.

The speech outlined the numerous successes of the first two years of the Haslam Administration and provided a preview of the top priorities for the Governor as the new legislative session gets underway.

Among the highlights:

  • Tennessee’s unemployment rate is at its lowest level in five years;
  • A continued focus on strengthening education because every child deserves access to a high quality education in Tennessee;
  • Streamlining state government to ensure a customer-focused approach is at the heart of all services.

Following the address, Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney stated, “Once again, Governor Haslam has shown he is a gifted reformer-in-chief who understands the concerns of Tennesseans right now. As you go around the state, people are talking about job opportunities, education reform, and limiting government. The Governor hit on all those points and presented a clear vision for achievement here in Tennessee.”

In his first two years as Governor, Haslam has presided over a litany of impressive conservative victories:

  • Cut wasteful spending from the state budget, ensuring more efficient use of taxpayer dollars;
  • Cut taxes for all Tennesseans, including the death tax, Hall tax, and grocery tax.
  • Conducted a top-to-bottom review of all executive departments to find areas of waste, fraud, and abuse.
  • Significant education reforms that place a priority on student achievement and teacher excellence
  • Protected the health care rights of Tennesseans by rejecting the implementation of an ObamaCare health insurance exchange.

“70 percent of citizens approve of the work Governor Haslam has done,” remarked Devaney. “After tonight, I believe 100 percent of the state can take pride in the man who is leading Tennessee.”

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Leatherwood Named TNGOP Executive Director

Press release from the Tennessee Republican Party; December 19, 2012:

NASHVILLE, TN – The top spot on the staff of the Tennessee Republican Party is going to a fresh face, while a new position will be filled from a much-deserved promotion from within the organization.

Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party, Chris Devaney, today announced the hiring of Brent Leatherwood to be the Party’s new Executive Director. At the same time, he announced that the Party’s current Political Director, Michael Sullivan, will be promoted to Deputy Executive Director.

“We have a great team at the TNGOP, and we are excited about Brent Leatherwood helping us lead our effort for the next two years. Brent has extensive campaign experience, and his knowledge of the state legislature will also be a valuable asset as we prepare for the 2014 elections and beyond,” said Devaney.

Leatherwood remarked, “I am incredibly excited about this opportunity to help guide the Tennessee Republican Party. Chairman Devaney has led the Party to new heights and I believe we’re going to continue excelling as the organization that represents the values of Tennesseans. We’ll do that by being a robust operation that serves as an unparalleled information resource, provides a strong Get Out the Vote effort, and continues to help elect Republicans across the state.”

Leatherwood will join the TNGOP in January after serving the Tennessee House Republican Caucus as the Communications Director. A native of Chattanooga, he has worked in Congress as a Senior Policy Advisor for U.S. Representative from Florida, has led two congressional campaigns in Tennessee, and has worked on multiple U.S. Senate and U.S. House races.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to continue working for Chairman Devaney and the TNGOP at a higher level. Republicans have made significant gains in Tennessee in the past few years, but there is still more we can do to ensure a strong Party in Tennessee for years to come. ” added Michael Sullivan.

Sullivan has been with the TNGOP since July of 2011. Prior to his current role, he served the Indiana House Republican Caucus as a Press Secretary. An Indianapolis native, Sullivan has worked on multiple campaigns including Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels’ 2008 reelection campaign, as well as running a congressional campaign in Indiana and a Senatorial campaign in Illinois.