Live from Music Row Monday 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 Tennessee State Representative (R-TN-57) Susan Lynn in-studio to discuss the House residency bill that will be voted on this evening and how newly arrived TN-5 candidates don’t know Tennessee.
Leahy: We are delighted to welcome once again to our studios, a good friend, State Representative Susan Lynn from Mount Juliet. She represents Wilson County. Welcome, Representative Lynn.
Lynn: Thank you. Thank you. It’s very nice to be here with you on early this morning.
Leahy: Well, the big question I got to ask you the big question because it seems like pretty much everybody in the United States has decided they want to run for the Republican primary in the new 5th Congressional District, which now includes parts of Wilson County.
Used to be just Davidson County, a little bit of Cheatham and Dickson. Definitely a strong Democratic district, but now it’s opened up. It’s got the lower third of Davidson County, the western half of Wilson County.
I think you live in the district and then also the eastern part of Williamson County. I live in that part of it. The little part, a little smidge of Spring Hill, Thompson’s Station, and then all of Marshall County, all of Maury County, all of Lewis County.
Now the big question is, every time I turn around, somebody’s announcing. People from California, Orange County, New York, people who have never lived here, never voted in a Tennessee primary, have announced. But you have lived here for a long time, Susan.
Leahy: You have voted in three out of the last four statewide GOP primaries.
Lynn: All of them.
Leahy: All of them! So if we went to the dictionary and look for carpetbagger, your picture would not be there.
Leahy: You are not a carpetbagger.
Leahy: You are an elected official here, and you’ve been an elected official for a long time. So the big question is, Susan, have you made up your mind whether or not you’re going to run for the GOP primary in the 5th Congressional District here?
Lynn: I have made up my mind.
Leahy: You have.
Lynn: I have. And big announcements are often made on your show.
Leahy: Beth Harwell announced right on this show.
Lynn: I am going to hold my announcement until the end of the segment. (Leahy laughs)
Leahy: Okay. Milking it a little bit. Susan, since you’ve not announced and may not announce – but I don’t know, it’s a big mystery – I won’t be able to ask you the Taking the Fifth quiz because we do that with all of all the announced candidates. (Lynn chuckles)
We kind of famously asked Morgan Ortagus, the most recent arrival here, who registered to vote in November. By the way, hadn’t lived here before. State Department spokesperson registered to vote here in November.
Over the weekend she moved into the district. (Lynn chuckles) We asked her seven simple questions. She couldn’t answer any of them about the district.
One of them, the very first question we asked her was, can you name three interstate highways that run through Nashville? She couldn’t name I-24, I-65, or I-40. So that kind of got a little bit of a reaction.
I do want to have a related question to you about what’s going to go on today when the House takes up a vote on whether or not there will be a three-year residency standard for people who want to get into a primary.
Setting the stage it passed the state Senate to be effective immediately 31 to one. The House passed and I don’t know how procedurally how it happened, I think the sponsor wanted to have it become effective immediately but somehow procedurally it was set to be as effective the next cycle went back to the Senate.
The Senate kicked it back to the house. So the big vote is tonight. What’s going to happen in that big vote tonight, Susan?
Lynn: I hope that we will pass the Senate’s version. I think we need to pass the Senate’s version. Some of the members of the House, especially some of the ones on that committee that put the amendment on the bill, feel we’re already in the midst of an election. It’s just not fair. But I have told them, look, I live in the 5th district.
Leahy: You live in the 5th district.
Lynn: I live in the 5th district. It kind of feels like aliens have come into Tennessee.
Leahy: Aliens from California, aliens from New York state, who knows where else they might come from.
Lynn: Truly. And if you think about it, if there was some loophole in the law and an illegal alien got to come into Tennessee and file to run for Congress you would stop them! Any of us would stop them. We would not allow that. Well, that’s kind of the way we feel in the 5th district.
Leahy: Even though they are U.S. citizens but a U.S. citizen from New York state or California is a little different.
Lynn: They don’t know Tennessee.
Listen to the full interview here:
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