OFF THE RECORD: Governor-Elect Lee Finally Finds a Dependable Conservative in Courtney Rogers


Despite campaigning as a staunch conservative, Governor-elect Bill Lee has assembled a senior leadership team and Cabinet composed almost entirely of Democrats, anti-Trump Republicans and Haslam Administration holdovers over the nearly two months since election day. Nevertheless, his announcement of former State Rep. Courtney Rogers (R-Hendersonville) as his Commissioner of Veterans Affairs is a clear signal that he CAN find a conservative leader to serve on his team when he chooses to do so.

Supported by Tea Party and Second Amendment activists, Rogers won an underdog primary race against Rep. Debra Maggart in 2012. At the time, Maggart was a part of the House Republican Leadership team as Caucus Chair. Rogers crafted a solidly conservative record in the House and remains a favorite of conservative activists across the state.

While Rogers’ appointment will be cheered by conservative grassroots activists, it is a position with limited policy significance despite the strong credentials that she will bring to the job. The State Department of Veterans Affairs largely serves as a pass through for federal dollars to federally authorized programs and services.

Many Cabinet appointments remain that carry much more weight — including Transportation, Education, Economic Development, and General Services. Should Lee continue to shut out conservatives from the remaining key positions in his Administration, the dissension and disappointment among his earliest supporters will only increase in volume and spread more deeply.

While Rogers’ is a good choice, why has it taken so long? Will it be the only one?









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11 Thoughts to “OFF THE RECORD: Governor-Elect Lee Finally Finds a Dependable Conservative in Courtney Rogers”

  1. […] Conservative Tilman Goins, who served as a Republican State Representative from Morristown for three terms ending in 2018, has been named as Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer for the State Department of Veterans Affairs. Goins will report to another former legislator, Courtney Rogers from Sumner County, who was appointed as Commissioner of Veterans Affairs by Governor Bill Lee late last year. […]

  2. […] the lack of conservatives in positions of authority in his administration. The Tennessee Star has pointed out that perhaps the only other conservative so far, Courtney Rogers, has limited authority as […]

  3. Jackie Archer

    I find the hubris and arrogance with which some people judge others unbelievable! I try not to judge on anything but performance and productivity. I would like to know on just what the opinions expressed above are based. Courtney Rogers is a rock star in my book. —based on performance and productivity in the Tennessee General Assembly, where I was a regular observer and serious critic.

  4. Dave Vance

    Nothing bad to say about Courtney or her appointment but wish he would appoint conservatives like her to positions that impact policy!

    1. Sherrie Gale Orange

      I wholeheartedly agree, Dave.

  5. Mrs. Van Patterson Patton

    I hope she’s the only one. I don’t think she’s qualified either

  6. Mrs. Van Patterson Patton

    I hope she’s the token Conservative .

  7. Kevin

    Courtney Rogers is immensely qualified and a GREAT choice for this position! Not only did she serve in the Armed Services in positions of increasing responsibility, she was one of the hardest working, best prepared legislators in Nashville.

    That said, I find the whole concept of judging appointments, before they’ve served day one, to be ludicrous! Just like President Trump has done, if somebody doesn’t live up to expectations, you fire them! I know within the “government bubble” firing somebody for lack of performance is taboo, but Bill Lee ain’t from inside the Nashville swamp.

  8. benton temple


    What a huge disappointment of an appointment.

    1. Joshua Read

      Wait. Airforce Lt. Colonel Courtney Rogers, staunch hard right TN Republican Assembly conservative GOP, grew up as the daughter of a KIA Vietnam helicopter pilot, with distinguished combat service of her own, after several terms as State Rep in the TGA is not qualified?
      Whoa! You must have the wrong Courtney Rogers. Perhaps she doesn’t have an HVAC license. Sorry if I disagree.