Live Friday morning on NPR for the Midsouth’s WKNO-91.9 FM News, host Christopher Blank talks to Political Analyst Otis Sanford about the Republican push for a three-year residency requirement to run for Congress in Tennessee.
Blank: Let’s take a look at another state law. Republicans are pushing for a three-year residency requirement for people running for Congress in Tennessee. Why shouldn’t somebody just be able to move here and run for the U.S. Senate?
Sanford: (Chuckles) I would be definitely opposed to that, Chris. I mean, first of all, you’ve got to learn the community before you can try to lead the community.
Blank: I think before we continue, why would you say, as one candidate has just done. Leave Florida, move to Tennessee and immediately run for a House of Representatives seat?
Sanford: For the House of Representatives, yes.
Blank: Which is happening in Nashville. Why would you do that? What is the point of leaving one state, moving to another state and then trying to win a national seat?
Sanford: In this particular instance, it is a person who thinks that their political connections going all the way up to the former White House, will give them an inroad because of the redistricting that was done.
That they can come in and say, hey, I’m a supporter of Trump. I’m a supporter of all conservatives. I believe in banning books and getting rid of Critical Race Theory. So elect me, even though I just moved here a week or so ago. I think that is what’s driving this particular case. But I think it’s ridiculous. We should have a residency requirement.
Blank: Even Tennessee Republicans don’t seem to like this even though they could get another Trump supporter elected to office. Why is that?
Sanford: Well, because they have enough Trump supporters already here. No, there are enough conservatives in Tennessee. They don’t need to import any.
Blank: Political Analyst Otis Sanford joins us each week to talk about Tennessee politics. Thanks again.
Sanford: Thank you, Chris.
Blank: This is WKNO News.
Listen to the full interview here.
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Photo “Otis Sanford” by Otis L. Sanford.