Records Shock: House Hopeful Morgan Ortagus Does Not Live in the 5th Congressional District

Morgan Ortagus

Morgan Ortagus, the former Trump State Department spokeswoman who announced her campaign to represent the 5th Congressional District on Monday, does not live in that district and is instead a resident of the 7th Congressional District, according to records read to The Tennessee Star.

A Davidson County Election Commission official confirmed Ortagus’ current address and voter registration in Nashville to The Star.

The official told The Star they share voting history of registered voters in Davidson County as a matter of public record, but there was no voting history document to share, as Ortagus did not register to vote in Tennessee until November 29, 2021, and has not voted in any Tennessee election.

A native of Florida, Ortagus subsequently lived in New York City and Washington, D.C.  Sources tell The Star Ortagus voted in the June 2020 GOP primary in the District of Columbia. She served in the Trump administration as a State Department spokesperson from 2019 to 2021. She accepted a position with a Nashville company in February 2021 and established her Tennessee residency some time between February 2021 and November 2021.

The Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury posted a website tool that enables the user to enter an address and search to see what district that address is located in now that redistricting has completed, a tool The Star accessed.

Ortagus did live in the 5th district when she registered to vote this past November, but the new district lines show her current address is in the 7th district.

Candidates for Tennessee State Senate and State House have district-specific voter registration and residency requirements.

According to the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office website, a candidate must have been a citizen of Tennessee for three years and a resident in the county one year immediately preceding the election, and a qualified voter of the legislative district by Election Day.

Residency in the district is not a requirement for U.S. House of Representatives elections, however.

The Secretary of State’s office describes the minimum qualifications for U.S. House candidates: “To hold the office of United States representative, a person must be at least 25 years of age and a citizen of the United States for seven years. When elected, the person must be a Tennessee resident.”

Tennessee residency is not hard to obtain. There are several factors that the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office uses to determine residency.

The residence of a person is the place where the person’s habitation is fixed and is where, during periods of absence, the person definitely intends to return.

The following factors may be considered:
The person’s possession, acquisition or surrender of inhabitable property;
Location of the person’s occupation;
Place of licensing or registration of the person’s personal property;
Place of payment of taxes which are governed by residence;
Purpose for a person’s presence in a particular place; and
Place of the person’s licensing for activities such as driving.
The place where a married person’s spouse and family live is presumed to be that person’s residence, unless that person takes up or continues abode with the intention of remaining in a place other than where the spouse and family reside.

A person is allowed to only have one primary residence. Residency changes are made “not only by relocation, but also by intent to remain in the new location permanently, and by demonstrating actions consistent with that intention.” Absence from Tennessee while employed by the United States or Tennessee, or while going to college, or serving prison time, does not solely grant or take away Tennessee residency.

The Star asked the Ortagus campaign to confirm the candidate’s residency details but did not receive a response by press time.

In a shock to many Tennessee Republicans, former President Trump endorsed Ortagus for the 5th Congressional District seat on January 25, 2022 — more than a week before she formally announced her candidacy.

Ortagus officially announced her candidacy on Monday, joining a Republican primary field that includes music video director Robby Starbuck, businessman Baxter Lee, Natisha Brooks, and retired Tennessee National Guard Brigadier General Kurt Winstead. Former Tennessee State House Speaker Beth Harwell and Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles may also be considering entering the TN-5 race.

The 5th Congressional District now contains parts of Davidson, Williamson, and Wilson counties; and all of Maury, Marshall, and Lewis counties. Prior to redistricting, it was previously made up of all of Davidson, and parts of Cheatham and Dickson counties.

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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]

 

 

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14 Thoughts to “Records Shock: House Hopeful Morgan Ortagus Does Not Live in the 5th Congressional District”

  1. […] Tennessee Star reported last month that Ortagus did not reside in the district. Her voter registration record showed that […]

  2. […] reported on Ortagus’ recent move to Tennessee, the fact that as of February 9, she did not live in the Fifth District, the fact that she registered to vote in Tennessee just three months ago, her […]

  3. […] reported on Ortagus’ recent move to Tennessee, the fact that as of February 9, she did not live in the Fifth District, the fact that she registered to vote in Tennessee just three months ago, her […]

  4. […] has reported on Ortagus’ recent move to Tennessee, the fact that as of February 9, she did not live in the Fifth District, the fact that she registered to vote in Tennessee just three months ago, her […]

  5. […] reported on Ortagus’ recent move to Tennessee, the fact that as of February 9, she did not live in the Fifth District, the fact that she registered to vote in Tennessee just three months ago, her […]

  6. […] reported on Ortagus’ recent move to Tennessee, the fact that as of February 9, she did not live in the Fifth District, the fact that she registered to vote in Tennessee just three months ago, her […]

  7. Concerned TN Republican

    Did she live inside the district before the new districts were released mere weeks ago? If yes, then is it really fair to be “shocked” that due to distric lines Just released a matter of weeks ago she lives barely outside the district? According to her campaign, as soon as the new districts were released she made immediate plans to move and will be moving to her new home in a few weeks.

    Is this really an issue? We have both Coopers are from Middle TN, born and raised … that doesn’t mean they are conservatives. Nearly 50% of Williamson County Residents did not live in Williamson county 2000. Davidson has 150,000+ new residents since 2020. Maury and Marshall have also seen tremendous growth from newcomers. Beibg a newcomer to TN and/or needing to move due to district lines changing just a few weeks ago aren’t really actual Issues.

    Not saying I support her or Starbuck … but this seems like a scandal that isn’t a scandal and the “shock” is merely creating drama and seems click baitish.

    Where do the candidates stand on the issues?

    1. Stuart I. Anderson

      I agree CTR that inside or outside of some line is small ball. Connection to the community as a whole is the larger consideration. After Ortagus living here for less than a year and doing little other than settle in then deciding to run for the U. S. Congress contains a strong whiff of arrogance that is simply off-putting.

      Of so much more importance is the question you hit on in closing. How does she. . .” stand on the issues?” Unfortunately, election time is too late to find that out about any candidate. Wait for election time and all you’re going to hear is how the candidate’s well paid campaign manager advises her to stand based on what the manager’s well paid pollster tells him how the voters would like her to stand. No, with Ortagus as with the other candidates the only way to tell is to look at their record before becoming a candidate. With Ortagus, I believe it’s from JEB! and being outspokenly anti-Trump to working for Trump’s administration and befriending the liberal Ivanka then receiving Trump’s endorsement with every indication that it’s ambition rather than conviction about much of anything as her motivating force. She is utterly terrible and as of now she still has my vote as the worst of the No Record Candidates seeking to be the Fifth’s congressman.

    2. ArKayne

      Agreed. That fact she would NOT answer the question posed to her by Dave Mandis (WTN 99.7 Radio) about her support of Jeb Bush along with the slander she threw at Trump leading up to the 2016 election told me all I need to know. I love the MAGA movement but Trump’s judgement is specious. He tends to think with his Richard. You pegged it about the fact that being a homeboy doesn’t automatically mean loyalty. Look at what “homeboys” have done to Nashville.
      When she refused to answer for her Trump hatred prior to her getting a seat at his table, I question both his judgement (he made some SERIOUS bonehead hires) and her allegiance…especially when she had previously aligned herself with the globalist Bush family. My BS detector maxes out when I hear her speak. I see her not only as a carpet bagging female version of Romney, but also an opportunistic political grifter. Thusly, I’m starting to question Trumps motives.
      MAGA 4 Ever….Trump not so much.

  8. Orval Plumbucket

    Nice looking girl, but I wouldn’t vote for her.

  9. Mark M

    I support Trump and I believe he means well, but he can’t possibly know enough about all of the candidates he endorses! It seems the scrutiny is warranted; noone wants an outsider here!!

  10. Stuart I. Anderson

    Morgan Ortagus’ candidacy is simply insulting to every resident of the new Fifth District. She is the perfect “NO” candidate. NO connection to our community, NO connection to any faction in the Republican Party, NO record in public office, NO ideology. While we wait to see whether we can persuade Andy Ogles to run, conservatives can spend their time deciding who is the very worst No Record Candidate running in the Fifth. I nominate Morgan Ortagus!

  11. rick

    This is beginning to look like a horror movie “THE ATTACK OF THE CARPETBAGGERS” staring Ortagus and Starbuck! Ortagus even lives in the wrong district, moron. Ortagus and Starbuck are not giving move ins a good name and some people say that we should welcome the move ins, just like these two, just remember we do not know anything about these people just don’t move to fast, the people that have lived here there entire life do not owe the move ins anything, make that a damn thing! You always get bad with the good!

    1. Mark Knofler

      Wreaks of Liz Cheney. We need someone who actually has ties to TN. Ortagus and Starbuck are just opportunist looking to cash in.

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