TN-5 Candidate Baxter Lee Raises $317,380, Loans Campaign Matching Amount

FEC records show that Baxter Lee, a candidate for the GOP nomination in the race for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District seat has raised $317,380 for the 2022 first-quarter reporting period.

Lee also matched his contributions with a personal loan to the campaign, making the total receipts for the first quarter $634,760.

Lee loaned his campaign $100,000 on January 31 and added an additional $217,380 on March 31, the last day of the reporting cycle.

It is common practice for candidates with financial means to loan their campaigns money to use for the campaign.

It is also common practice for candidates to loan their campaigns money to pad their finance reports, only to reimburse themselves at some point during the election cycle. It is currently unclear if the Lee campaign plans to spend the loan money.

During the 2010 election cycle Ben Loyola, a Republican candidate for Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District, loaned his campaign $949,350, only to repay himself to the tune of $765,000 of before the primary took place.

Lee’s campaign spent $70,855.64 and ends the quarter with $563,904.36 cash on hand.

71 percent of Lee’s donations, or $225,650, came from within the state of Tennessee. Twenty-nine percent, or $91,730, came from outside the state.

Former U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, CEO of Kratom Patricia Bible; Chairman of Pinnacle Financial Robert McCabe; CEO of The Trust Company of Tennessee Sharon Pryse; and 21st Century Mortgage CEO Tim Williams are among notable names listed on Lee’s campaign finance report. Several members of former Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s family donated to Lee as well.

The Tennessee Star previously reported that Lee has been removed from the TN-5 GOP primary ballot because of challenges filed to his Republican bona fide status in accordance with the Tennessee Republican Party bylaws, at least temporarily. Lee failed to vote in three of the last four Tennessee statewide Republican primaries, only voting in two. Lee also voted in the 2020 Democrat presidential preference primary.

The fate of Lee’s ballot status rests in the hands of a select committee of members of the TNGOP State Executive Committee. They can vote to restore him to the ballot or can elect to leave him off. The deadline for the TNGOP to notify the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office if they choose to restore a candidate to the ballot is noon on Thursday, April 21.

It is unclear what the Lee campaign will do with the money raised if Lee is not restored to the ballot.

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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 “Baxter Lee” by Baxter Lee. Background Photo “U.S. Capitol by 10302144.


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4 Thoughts to “TN-5 Candidate Baxter Lee Raises $317,380, Loans Campaign Matching Amount”

  1. Chad M

    I worked with Baxter when we both worked for Fred Thompson. I also worked with him again when we did everything we could to get Fred Thompson elected President of the USA. Fred Thompson’s ideals shaped Baxter. Fred was his mentor.
    Baxter is incredibly intelligent. There is no one smarter or more conservative than him in this race. He is also an extremely hard worker. He is from a brilliant family with a long track record of helping people all around this State. He will make this District and State proud. He clearly wants this job to fix our country and keep it conservative. That’s it.

  2. Stuart I. Anderson

    OK!!! NOW THAT’S NEWS!!!! Baxter Lee has no record on which to base a campaign but he does have the enthusiastic support of Lamar Alexander (Heritage-50%) and Gov. Haslam. “ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST.”

  3. 83ragtop50

    With RINO (really a Democrat) Alexander supporting Mr. Lee then we conservatives can eliminate Mr. Lee from consideration.

  4. Kevin

    Ouch! The Haslam’s abandoned Beth Harwell again? First during her short-lived run for Governor and now in her run for the 5th, so much for loyalty! She gave them the gas tax increase and they give her the boot!

    But the real question here for all of us Tennessee voters, is why are these people willing to spend SO much money for a job that pays less than $200K per year?