Tennessee Secretary of State’s Office Approves the Qualifying Petitions of 14 Candidates in Race for TN-5 Seat

As of April 7, the date of the qualifying petitions filing deadline, the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office approved the submissions of fourteen candidates in the race for Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional District seat.

Eleven Republicans, one Democrat, and two Independents are listed as by the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office as having their petitions signatures approved.

Five additional candidate petitions submissions are still being verified.

The Secretary of State’s office lists the TN-5 Republican primary qualifying petitions of former Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell, Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles, General Kurt Winstead, State Senate aide Tres Wittum, Natisha Brooks, Stewart Parks, Geni Batchelor, and Timothy Bruce Lee as submitted and verified. Additionally, qualifying petitions signatures for Morgan Ortagus and Robby Starbuck, as well as Baxter Lee, have been submitted and verified by the Secretary of State’s office.

The Tennessee Star previously reported that Ortagus, Starbuck, and Lee are currently considered off the ballot, pending the results of an TNGOP special committee hearing on challenges to their Republican bona fide status. The committee can vote to keep them off the ballot or to restore their status.

Additionally, records show that former Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives Beth Harwell, Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles, Natisha Brooks, Baxter Lee, General Kurt Winstead, Senate aide Tres Wittum, Timothy Bruce Lee, Geni Batchelor, as well as Morgan Ortagus and Robby Starbuck, have filed candidate paperwork with the Federal Election Commission.

Three other Republican candidates have submitted their petitions but the Secretary of State’s office is still processing them. They are: Jeff Beierlein of Nashville, Richie Lee of Nashville, and Sarah Grams of Columbia.

On the Democrat side, State Senator Heidi Campbell (D-Nashville) is listed as having her petitions approved. Justicia Rizzo’s petitions are still being processed.

Derrick Brantly and Daniel Cooper are the Independents listed whose qualifying petitions signatures have been approved. The Secretary of State’s office is still working on Rick Shannon’s.

As many as twenty-five individuals pulled qualifying petitions paperwork, but several, including former Williamson County Chair Omar Hamada and David Vitalli, decided to exit the race.

Tennessee’s primaries for U.S. House and other offices are scheduled to take place on August 4, 2022.

TN-5 is made up of parts of Davidson, Williamson, and Wilson counties, as well as all of Maury, Marshall, and Lewis counties.

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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected] Follow Aaron on GETTRTwitter, and Parler.
Photo “U.S. Capitol” by Martin Falbisoner. CC BY-SA 3.0.


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