Lewisburg, TENNESSEE — Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles won the Marshall County Republican Party’s Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional District straw poll by a commanding margin, a poll which was conducted during the party’s annual fundraising dinner Thursday night.
Marshall County Republican Chair Julie Quan allowed disqualified TN-5 candidates Robby Starbuck, Morgan Ortagus, and Baxter Lee to participate in the poll. In a Facebook post shared on Friday, Quan said that the former candidates would be included because the final plans for the event “were finalized prior to the changes by made the SEC.”
Quan, a vocal supporter of Starbuck, was one of the individuals who vouched for the native Californian after his Republican bona fides were challenged.
Starbuck, who purchased several tables, attended and gave a speech where he claimed that he was going to be back on the ballot eventually. Ortagus, in a possible signal that she is beginning to accept the Tennessee Republican Party’s decision to disqualify her, did not attend, though she had also purchased several tables.
Sources tell The Star that a former campaign staffer for Ortagus informed the Davidson County Republican Party (DCRP) that she does not plan to attend its June forum.
Disqualified TN-5 candidate Baxter Lee also did not attend the Marshall County GOP function.
Ogles won the poll, while General Kurt Winstead came in second. Disqualified candidates Starbuck, Ortagus, and Lee finished in a distant third place, fifth place, and dead last, respectively.
- Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles, 61 votes
- General Kurt Winstead, 43 votes
- Disqualified Candidate Robby Starbuck, 35 votes
- Former Speaker of the Tennessee House Beth Harwell, 22 votes
- Disqualified Candidate Morgan Ortagus, 21 votes
- Natisha Brooks, 13 votes
- Jeff Beierlein, 11 votes
- Timothy Bruce Lee and Stewart Parks, 6 votes
- Tres Wittum, 5 votes
- Geni Batchelor, 3 votes
- Baxter Lee, 0 votes
As previously noted, straw polls are non-binding and do not have any bearing on the ultimate election results.
Ogles, Winstead, Starbuck, Harwell, Brooks, Beierlein, Parks, Timothy Bruce Lee, Wittum, and Batchelor all gave speeches.
The Republican primary for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District is scheduled to take place on August 4 without Starbuck, Ortagus, and Baxter Lee.
The Marshall County Republican dinner, an annual tradition for the party, took place at the Lewisburg Parks & Recreation Center. The vibrant Republican crowd seemed energized and enthusiastic. Several attendees told The Star that they are looking forward to November and a new Republican majority in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate.
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