Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles Still Has No Answer on If He Will Run for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District

Andy Ogles


Live from Music Row Tuesday 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 Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in the studio to ask the big questions of whether or not he will run for the vacant seat in Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District.

Leahy: We are joined in-studio by the Mayor of Maury County. That bastion of freedom, that turbocharged engine of economic growth, Andy Ogles. Good morning, Andy.

Ogles: Good morning.

Leahy: You come in here in the morning, everybody’s kind of waking up. But then I say, Maury County, that bastion of freedom, that turbocharged engine of economic growth, and a smile comes onto your face.

Ogles: It’s a great time to be Mayor of Maury County. But I tell you what, I was tired coming in this morning to work, but I look forward to hearing that phrase every Tuesday. (Leahy laughs)

Leahy: Something to look forward to. And again, it’s a phrase I purloined. I borrowed it from you. You are the originator of that phrase. But it was so good, I’ve taken it as my own!

Ogles: That’s right. And you do a great job.

Leahy: Andy, we’ve been friends for a long time. (Ogles chuckles) And I just got to have to say, how long are you going to milk this thing? (Laughs)

Ogles: I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Leahy: You know what I’m talking about. So everyone in our listening audience knows this. So the big question, if you’ve been paying attention to politics in Tennessee, the highest-profile – a Tennessee Republican primary that everyone in the country and around the world has been writing about – is the GOP primary in the 5th Congressional District of Tennessee.

Just to set the stage here for all our listeners, the 5th Congressional District for decades has primarily consisted of Davidson County, and it has for the past, I think, 10 years consisted of Davidson County, parts of Cheatham, and parts of Dickson. But almost all 90 percent is Davidson County.

It has been represented by Democrat Jim Cooper since 1993. A long time. And that district, as constituted prior to the redistricting, was about a Democrat plus-15. And there was … no, there’s really never been a credible challenger to Jim Cooper on the Republican side.

But every 10 years we have a census, and the Constitution says that state legislatures must redraw boundaries for the U.S. House and the state legislative districts. So the boundaries have been redrawn.

The Tennessee General Assembly passed the law. Governor Bill Lee signed it into law. It has not been challenged by Democrats in federal court. It appears unlikely to be challenged. Jim Cooper looked at the process and he decided that there was no legal avenue to challenge the new district.

And so he decided he’s not running for reelection. So it’s an open seat. The new seat is the southern part of Davidson County, about the southern third of it, the western half of Wilson County, the eastern half of Williamson County, and taking parts of Spring Hill and Thompson’s Station.

I’m about 200 yards into the district myself. And then all of Marshall, Maury, and Lewis counties. A number of people have already announced that they are going to run, and some have pulled petition papers but not announced.

But the people that have announced include Beth Harwell, former Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives; two carpetbaggers – my words, not yours – Robby Starbuck, aka Robert Starbuck Newsom, and Morgan Ortagus, who parachuted into Tennessee this past year and has registered to vote here back in November 29 and doesn’t even live in the district, as far as we can tell.

And then retired Brigadier General Kurt Winstead and Baxter Lee and several others have decided to run. Another carpetbagger, I’ve never heard of him; David Vitalli moved here from New York. I don’t know if it was New York City.

Might have been New York City. Well, we’re going to take it basically New York City via Washington, D.C. This Vitalli fellow had moved in.

Here’s a big question: Have you decided whether or not you are going to run for the 5th Congressional District Republican nomination, Andy Ogles?

Ogles: I’m still looking at it. It’s an interesting dynamic. It would appear now three people who have moved in from out of state solely to run for Congress, which is a little bit troubling, which is why the rules of the SEC, but then also the legislative body, are important.

But I’m still looking at it. Obviously, it’s a big decision for me and my family and the effect on Maury County, but I promise I’ll let you know.

Leahy: (Laughs) Tick-tock goes the clock. The filing deadline is April 7th, Andy.

Ogles: I’ve worked hard for a couple of decades now fighting for liberty and freedom in Middle Tennessee. I have a pretty good name ID, so I can sit back and watch.

Regardless, I’m going to continue to fight that fight, but I’m watching it closely. I would consider myself one of the frontrunners, and so I have the luxury of just watching the circus.

Leahy: Do you have a date certain as to whether you make a go, no-go decision? Certainly before April 7th.

Ogles: Soon is where I’m at. (Leahy laughs) Obviously, filing deadline is April 7th. But I have to defend Omar.

Leahy: Omar Hamada. He was in here yesterday.

Ogles: He was five of seven. I’m not sure I would have gotten the Charlie Daniels question right.

Leahy: And I can’t ask you to take the Fifth quiz yet because Omar has pulled papers. He’s not announced. And Morgan Ortagus has announced, hasn’t pulled papers. Beth Harwell has done both.

So all three of them have taken the quiz. Beth was three for three. Omar was five for seven. Morgan was zero for seven. And of course, she doesn’t even know the names of the interstate highways in the district. (Ogles chuckles) 

Ogles: And obviously, I know who Charlie Daniels is, but I wouldn’t have necessarily got that right.

Leahy: I’m guessing maybe somewhere in our future is a Taking the Fifth quiz with Andy Ogles.

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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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One Thought to “Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles Still Has No Answer on If He Will Run for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District”

  1. Stuart I. Anderson

    Andy is incessantly “looking at it” which give conservatives the opportunity to look at the possibility of voting for someone other than Andy whose dithering I find very unattractive. Beth Harwell (ACU-86%) who forthrightly came out and indicated she is running and is proceeding accordingly is looking more attractive all the time.