Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles formed a Facebook group called “Andy’s Army TN” for “patriots and Fans of Andy Ogles who believe in taking a stand for our Constitution and Liberties.”
The private group’s page is here. Since it is a private group, people have to request to join. Facebook showed the membership to be approximately 1,800 as of Monday.
The Daily Herald on Tuesday reported that “Andy’s Army TN” is part of Ogles’ efforts to grow his social media following during the pandemic, and he said he is engaging supporters while preparing to start his reelection campaign.
“It is for those who are supporters,” Ogles said in a live video posted last week. “Think of it as campaign volunteers.”
The newspaper said “Andy’s Army TN” is intended to fight a statewide mask mandate, but the group’s Facebook description does not mention that topic.
Ogles has long been opposed to mask mandates and government shutdowns out of COVID-19 fears.
After Gov. Bill Lee’s Sunday address to the state, Ogles spoke to The Tennessee Star.
“I am relieved the governor did not do a statewide mask mandate,” Ogles said. “We can’t sacrifice liberty and infringe on the Constitution, even though there’s a virus, and even though people are scared.”
On the Sept. 30 episode of The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., Ogles also spoke about whether Lee can delegate authority for mask mandates to county mayors, among other topics.
You don’t have that authority to do that. Now, there’s equal blame to point at our legislature that they haven’t stepped up and really kind of rein this in, but it’s an election year.
And unfortunately, politics plays in here. and so I’ve stood firm. Look if you want to wear a mask, wear a mask. I defend your right to do that, but also defend your right to make a choice. But the thing is if you look at all of the events we’ve had in Maury County and I always kind of you know qualify my statement with, I could end up with COVID tomorrow.
The “Andy’s Army TN” page is separate from Ogles’ public Facebook mayoral page, which is available here. He promoted the “Army” on the mayoral page last week, saying on one post, “Volunteer on social media, call a legislator or two, help Andy campaign, defend Freedom??? … This group is for Patriots and Supporters of Andy Ogles who believe in taking a stand for our Constitution and Liberties!!! Are You Ready?”.
– – –