Melissa Smithson has been tapped to chair the Davidson County Republican Party after former chairman Tres Whittum was found ineligible, reports the Nashville Post.
Whittum, who is an analyst for state Sen. Bo Watson (R-Hixson), was elected to lead the party in February even though there were concerns about his eligibility. He couldn’t provide evidence that he voted in the past three Republican primaries, a requirement for officers. In May, the executive committee of the Tennessee Republican Party dismissed him from the role.
Elected vice chair in February, Smithson was formally named chair on June 1. She is a longtime Republican activist and was county co-chair for the Trump campaign. Smithson once ran for Metro Council and has brought experience in PR and marketing to Republican causes, according to Green Hills News. She was involved with Save Our Fairgrounds and Stop AMP.
Smithson issued the following statement upon being named chair:
After working on several campaigns over the last 4 years, including the Trump campaign as co-chairman of our County, and being involved with our Davidson County Republican Party and serving on the board, I was honored on Thursday night to be elected as Chairman. As you know, I love this city we live in and want our city the be the best in the Nation but hold on to our true characteristics and values that we cherish as life-long Nashvillians. I will work hard to rebrand and reestablish the Party in Nashville, working with conservative businesses and having meetups and events to register voters and gain membership. We will look for great candidates to support to fill upcoming vacancies within our local government to serve and make sure conservative and Nashville values stay intact.
We have a new focus, a new board, a new energy. We are in a new era of politics not ever seen by this Country. My leadership will be of a servant’s heart — being respectful, kind, open-minded — but standing firm on our beliefs and values of the Party and our beloved Nashville way.