Eleven individuals are now collecting qualifying petitions for the Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional district Republican primary ballot. Including three Democrats and three Independents, a total of seventeen people are collecting petitions in order to qualify to run for office under Party and state rules.
The Tennessee Secretary of State’s office posts the names of individuals who are collecting qualifying petitions for various Tennessee elections every Friday. The latest individuals to begin collecting petitions to earn their spot on the Republican primary ballot for TN-5 ballot are former Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives Beth Harwell, businessman Baxter Lee, and Stewart Parks. All are listed as being from Nashville.
The Tennessee Star previously reported that Speaker Harwell has a history of supporting Republican candidates for office financially, including President Trump. Harwell is also currently a member of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s board of directors, appointed by President Trump. Harwell has been a Tennessee resident for more than three decades and was the first woman to serve as Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives.
According to his website, Baxter Lee is “is an 8th generation Tennessean, small business owner, husband, and father.” The Star reported that Lee voted in the 2020 Democrat presidential preference primary in addition to two other Republican statewide primaries in Tennessee. Lee claimed his vote in the 2020 Democrat presidential was to help pick the weakest general election candidate against President Donald J. Trump.
Other candidates that are listed as collecting petitions for the TN-5 GOP primary are music video director Robby Starbuck of Franklin (listed as Robert Starbuck Newsom), Geni Batchelor of Lebanon, Natisha Brooks of Nashville, former Williamson County GOP Chair Omar Hamada of Franklin, Timothy Bruce Lee of Nashville, Annabelle Lee of Madison, Alan Clement Sharp of Nashville, and David Vitalli of Brentwood.
As of Friday, Tennessee newcomer and former State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus has not begun collecting petitions.
Candidates seeking to appear on the ballot for TN-5 are required to collect twenty-five valid signatures from registered voters, and have until noon on April 7, 2022 to turn in those qualifying petitions.
The Fifth Congressional district consists of parts of Davidson, Williamson, and Wilson counties; and all of Maury, Marshall, and Lewis counties.
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