GOP Candidate for Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional District, Robby Starbuck, Energized by Redistricting


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 GOP candidate for Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional District Robby Starbuck to the newsmaker line to discuss the new redistricting maps, why he’ll win, and how he’s the best choice for Middle Tennesseans.

Leahy: We’ve got Robby Starbuck on our Newsmaker Line right now. Robby Starbuck, thanks so much for joining us this morning. How are you doing?

Starbuck: I’m doing good. How are you doing?

Leahy: A lots going on and alot is going on with you.

Starbuck: Big news.

Leahy: Big news for you. So your reaction? The Fifth Congressional District map has been released. It passed in the Senate, then is about to pass in the House. The governor’s likely to sign it.

The Democrats would probably challenge it in court maybe, but it looks like it’s going to stick. Describe the new district to us and describe your plans for running for the Fifth Congressional District in the Republican primary.

Starbuck: We’re overwhelmingly excited. And Democrats will sue. I mean, they have to. It’s almost standard practice at this point. But like you said, it’s going to stick. And the new district is beautiful.

For people who live in Davidson, they should know it’s split into three pieces now. Mark Green has essentially got the part of the Western portion. And you’ve got John Rose, who will have part of the other side on the Eastern side.

But I have almost all of East Davidson. So his is more of the northeast. And then I’ve got South Davidson, two thirds of Williamson County, half of Wilson County, all of Maury, all of Marshall and all of Lewis in the new district.

Leahy: So let me just add. The new district is the Fifth Congressional District.

Starbuck: Yes.

Leahy: As far as I know, you’re the only announced candidate for that district. I have one question for you on it. Do you reside within that current district?

Starbuck: Yes, I do. (Laughs)

Leahy: You do?

Starbuck: Yes, I do, which is very exciting because that was one thing I know I was very worried about. Yes, I live inside of it. We’re just so excited. They have this plus or minus whatever in terms of political what your advantage is.

And in this new district, the advantage for Republicans is 16 points. So we’re very excited about that. It obviously changes the whole make up of the race.

Leahy: I looked at the map and I saw that you live sort of in Western Williamson County, I think. But I think the map looks to me mostly on Eastern Williamson County. Is there a little different map out there? Are you 100 percent sure you live in the district?

Starbuck: 100 percent I live in the district, yeah. No, there’s that like hook at the top of the map. That hook essentially covers part of the area, it’s not Eastern. It’s more so like the Northwest end. And that’s where I’m at. Basically the district stops right before Leipers Fork area or Westhaven.

Leahy: And you are right in that area. Got ya.

Starbuck: Just West of that. Yes.

Carmichael: Robby, I live in Green Hills which district am I in?

Starbuck: You’re going to be in my district. Yep. You’ll be in district in the new District.Five.

Leahy: Now that’s Robby, what you might call it an assumptive close because you said you’re going to live in my district. And let’s just say it’s the Fifth District for which you are a candidate. Right? It’s a good assumptive close.

Starbuck: We’re going to win this.

Carmichael: I was just asking so that I would know, am I voting in the Fifth District primary and then the general or the other two? Because there are actually three districts that have been affected.

Leahy: Right. The 6th, 7th and the 5th. Yeah.

Carmichael: And we didn’t pick up an additional House seat. And so it’s still nine congressional districts and three of them have been changed. And the other six, I think were pretty much left alone.

Leahy: Exactly. Robby, another question for you. So you’ve answered number one question. You live within the district, which is new information and good information for our listeners to have.

There’s another question about the standards of eligibility to run for the Republican primary. I’m sure you’ve looked at this quite a bit. And we had a story on it and talked to the party chair, Scott Golden, about this. I think the standard is you have to have voted in three of the past four Republican primaries wherever you live.

So here in Tennessee, that would be the August [2020] primary, August 2018 primary, as well as the March presidential primary in 2020 and the August 2016 primary. That’s the standard. Three out of the past four. Have you met those standards?

Starbuck: Yes. One thing that’s important to understand, I have. Everybody’s got my voting record because I did live out of state for some of those elections. And they’ve got my California voting record. They have my registration. The purpose of it really is to make sure you’re a Republican in Tennessee because it is not a closed primary state.

In California, where I was it was a closed primary state, and I was always registered as a Republican and always voted Republican. That’s something that’s out there. All the party chairs have it. And I don’t think it’s going to be an issue.

Leahy: So if you could the last four primaries that existed, how many did you vote for in Tennessee’s Republican primary and how many in California? Do you remember?

Starbuck: If I go back, it would be one primary here and then the rest in California were primaries because it would have been the last primary. It’d be two primaries here and then the rest in California.

Leahy: The primary here would have been August of 2020 and March of 2020. So you voted here in those GOP primaries and then the previous two were in California, is that right?

Starbuck: Yes.

Leahy: And that’s the standard. Whether it’s here in Tennessee, or elsewhere. Now what are the big issues that are going to be here in this race?

Starbuck: I think especially as we get closer to election time, we’re only going to see more of a focus on the economy. And I think also what the government has done with mandates and how you treat people in terms of their jobs, that’s turned into a big issue here.

Even with health care and even after they passed the COVID bill, people are feeling the effects of it. And I think people want that knowledge that in the future this is never going to happen if another virus comes through where the government can essentially add these consequences to the possibility that you’ll lose your job if you don’t do exactly what they tell you to.

I think those things are going to be really important. But also education is going to be massive in the election. And I think that now is the time to pass school choice and to make it very clear that we’re not going to have racist critical race theory in school and we’re not going to force that on kids.

We’ve got to reassert parental rights in the country. And so those things are going to be a priority. Also making sure we can stamp down inflation and that we can really get back to the kitchen table issues that matter to people.

Leahy: Last question. Some of your critics might say you’ve only lived in Tennessee a couple of years. How and why can you represent people from throughout Middle Tennessee if you’re a relative newcomer?

Starbuck: Honestly, in Middle Tennessee, it’s experienced such explosive growth it’s actually the reason why we have this opportunity to essentially flip the district over from the Democrats into a Republican district.

And I think one of the things that people I’ve talked to on the campaign trail are aware of is that what makes you a Tennesseean is not necessarily being born here. We’ve had plenty of people born in Tennessee represent Tennessee and not do a good job like, let’s say, Jim Cooper.

It’s about values and it’s about what you believe in, and it’s about the type of fight you have. And I think that the basis for me is I know all the little things they did to destroy a state like California and how people fought it in effective and ineffective ways and how we can make sure we fight it in effective ways.

Also, my family, having come from Cuba, where they lost every single thing to leftism, I know how important it is to always stand up, always fight, and never back down to these people. And so that’s why I’ll be an effective representative.

Leahy: Robby Starbuck, hey, come in studio again. We’ll have, a full hour to talk about the issues. How does that sound?

Starbuck: Absolutely. I’m in.

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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.
Photo “Robby Starbuck” by Robby Starbuck.














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