Gary Humble of Tennessee Stands Talks Election Integrity in the State and What Conservative Tennesseans Want


Live from Music Row Friday morning on 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. – host Leahy welcomed Gary Humble of Tennessee Stands to the newsmaker line to discuss his mission going into 2022 and the importance of election integrity in the state of Tennessee.

Leahy: We are joined now on our newsmaker line by Gary Humble, head of Tennessee Stands. Good morning, Gary.

Humble: Good morning, sir. How are you?

Leahy: Well, is it going to be a Merry Christmas for constitutional conservatives in Tennessee? And what does 2022 look like? What is on your agenda, Gary?

Humble: Yes. A Merry Christmas good enough, I suppose right now, that seems to be, in my opinion, what we tend to get here in Tennessee. Good enough. I think there was a report the governor put out on social media, I think by the CATO Institute.

Tennessee was ranked the fourth most free state in the country. That’s a great ranking. I care a little bit less, though, about what CATO thinks and more about what Tennesseeans think.

Leahy: (Chuckles) That’s a good line, by the way, Gary. I did see that I generally tend to think that CATO probably does a decent job of ranking states by freedom. But what exceptions would you take to that ranking?

Humble: Well, I think in terms of, you know, again, nationally, we look at a lot of headlines, and I think there are a lot of half measures that have happened here in Tennessee. I think people look at Tennessee and don’t realize from the outside looking in that we did go through lockdowns, shutting down businesses, deeming people nonessential masking our children, the whole nine yards, just like everyone else did.

Now, there were varying degrees. But I think a lot of folks in California looked at the headline on Fox News, and they don’t really know what’s been happening here in Tennessee for those that live in the states that have been under unconstitutional mandates for over a year and a half now.

So I think the biggest issue is coming into 2022. To your earlier question, one, we’re going to continue to fight on the medical freedom front. I don’t think we’re there yet. I don’t like the fact that currently regarding health care workers and federal contractors, we’re having to lean less on state law and a little bit more on these rulings coming from federal district judges and circuit courts.

So that doesn’t feel good to me. At any time should one of those rulings go away or one of those judges not grant a permanent injunction, then those federal mandates come back into play in the state of Tennessee. So I would like to see that further resolve coming into 2022.

And I also think we need to make the move to continue to work on our election integrity here in our state. One of the things we discovered in our research, and I don’t know that a lot of people know this, we have 95 counties in Tennessee.

In 70 of those counties, there is no paper trail at all. Zero. So even when you walk in and use an electronic machine, typically, it would spit out a comparable paper ballot, or it would have some sort of ticker tape inside the machine recording on paper with what the votes are in 70 of 95 counties in the state of Tennessee, even that is nonexistent.

The counties are fully electronic. And there are several other issues like that that we would like to see resolved just so that Tennesseans can rest assured that our elections here in the state are fully secured. And I think we’ve got to address that coming in 2022.

Leahy: Yes, I’ve heard a lot of people here on the grassroots side say it’s time for election integrity improvements in Tennessee. I think State Senator Janice Bowling doesn’t want a complete audit of the 2020 election results? What are your thoughts on that?

Humble: Yes. There are two sides to that coin. I’m not in the camp that says every other month, apparently, Trump is coming back into office. I think clearly, no matter what we think about the election that ship has sailed, unfortunately.

But in terms of going back and doing an audit and doing a recount just to verify the process, personally, I don’t know why we would do that. And I don’t know why anyone would be against that, simply going back and taking a look, doing our best to communicate to Tennesseeans that our elections are indeed secure and that we got what we got fair and square.

So I don’t know why anyone would be against that. I’m certainly for that. I think it’s a prudent process and I think we need to have more processes like that in place that needs to be followed from here on out.

Leahy: Gary, tell us a little bit about Tennessee Stands. You’ve been an organization that has been around for a couple of years, not a lot, but a couple of years, but it’s grown like crazy. How many people are there in Tennessee Stands and what is it that unites them?

Humble: Right now we’re a conservative base of 20,000 strong across the state. I think the core of Tennessee Stands is a group of people that truly wants to see our government return to a constitutional republic.

A republic that actually runs according to the Constitution, where the judiciary works the way it’s supposed to and that our three branches of government coordinate with each other the way they’re supposed to.

That separation of powers remained intact and that we never again see a year like 2020, at least in the state of Tennessee. So one thing I’ve always said often we can’t control clearly what happens in the White House.

And quite frankly, I don’t mean this in a mean way, I really don’t care what California does and New York does and any other state does. But I care what happens in our state of Tennessee.

And Tennesseeans can come together, and we can control what happens in our state. So we firmly believe in states’ rights and an originalist interpretation of our Constitution. That’s just some rudimentary things that our organization that I think people identify with.

Leahy: Talk about 2022. Tennessee Stands stands on issues. There’s a constitutional amendment apparently coming up, Yes on One which would make right to work part of the Tennessee Constitution. Are you going to be involved in that? How about some of the political campaigns, like at the state legislative level, congressional level, and the gubernatorial campaign.

Humble: So yes and yes to the campaign part we’ve launched now a PAC. We have the Stand for Tennessee PAC, and folks can check out And that PAC will be supporting candidates across the state.

We will be involved in a handful of state races in the General Assembly. But the primary focus of the pack is local, county commission, and school board races in counties across the state.

We know as a grassroots organization that our politics are local. They start from the bottom up. And we saw that clearly in terms of how different counties live under different COVID restrictions. So who we elect locally matters, especially on our school boards and education.

So we’re going to be in that battle coming into 2022. And then in terms of the Yes on One, we do support the right to work, and we will be vocal about that and support all the other groups that are in support of the right to work.

I do have something interesting to say about the right to work. That piece of legislation is interesting to me. And like you say, it’s a constitutional amendment because it’s supported across the board by just about every conservative and the entire leadership as far as I can tell from the governor on down in the GOP.

And we support it, too. But the underlying issue of rights to work is that a business cannot discriminate against an employee based on their membership and their labor union. In other words, if you want to work for me in Tennessee, I cannot force you to be part of a labor union, and I cannot force you to pay union dues.

We support that. We think that’s good for the economy, and we think that’s good for business and good for workers. And it’s interesting to me that that type of legislation has had such broad support.

But to get the support that employers should not be discriminating against their workers on a medical basis has been such an uphill climb in this state. It’s like God forbid that we pass a law that says that an employer can’t force their employee to have a vaccine or any other kind of medicine.

That seems for so long, so foreign to so many of these legislators. Yet they’ve been supporting the right of an employee not to be part of a labor union since 1947.

Leahy: Gary Humble with Tennessee Stands, thanks for joining us. Come back next year. I want to talk more about your efforts to get conservatives elected to school boards at a local level that I think is very interesting.

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.














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