Federal Election Commission records show that Tennessee 5th Congressional District Republican primary candidate Kurt Winstead donated to federal Democrat candidates in addition to Republican ones.
Williamson County Election Commission records additionally show that Kurt Winstead voted in Democrat primaries in the past.
These records come into direct contrast with a statement that Kurt Winstead made announcing a television ad buy Tuesday morning. Kurt Winstead said, “I have been a conservative since conception, and I’ve been blessed to have a career outside politics. Our message is resonating with voters in the district, as our campaign continues to gain momentum.”
In 2006, Kurt Winstead donated $1,000 to Democrat U.S. Senate nominee and former U.S. Representative Harold Ford Jr. in the race against former U.S. Senator Bob Corker.
A year later, records show Kurt Winstead donated $250 to the Tennessee Democratic Party. In 2008, the TN-5 candidate donated $300 to Democrat Bob Tuke’s U.S. Senate campaign. Tuke went on to lose to former U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander.
In 2010, Kurt Winstead donated $1,000 to Democrat Brett Carter, who lost in the 6th Congressional District race against former Republican U.S. Representative Diane Black.
Recently, Kurt Winstead’s donation history has been exclusively Republican. Between 2014 and 2022, Kurt Winstead donated thousands of dollars to Republicans. Those donations include several contributions to U.S. Representative Mark Green (R-TN-07), a 2019 donation of $1,000 to former President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, a few donations to U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN)’s campaign, several donations to U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and several donations to John Clark for Congress.
His voting history, provided by Williamson County election officials, show that Winstead voted in the Democrat presidential preference primary in 2008, pulled a Democrat ballot in the August 2000 primary, and voted in the Democrat August primary in 1994. Since 2010, Winstead has voted in 12 Republican primaries and zero Democrat primaries.
The Tennessee Star asked Kurt Winstead to address his history that includes Democrat candidate donations and votes in Democrat primaries.
“In the Army, we were taught the importance of owning up to our mistakes. Voting in the wrong primary and contributing to the wrong candidates certainly fits into that category. Unlike my opponents, I haven’t spent my life planning to run for office,” he said in a statement. “Matter of fact, I never thought I’d be doing this. Before 2010, I wasn’t as involved as I should’ve been, but that changed after Biden and Obama took us into a socialist spiral. We have a country to fight for. Just like Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump, I’m a conservative leader you can trust.”
Kurt Winstead’s wife, Beth Winstead, is reportedly heavily involved in his campaign apparatus. She is a lobbyist at McMahan Winstead & Richardson, and has also donated to Democrats and voted in several Democrat primaries.
Beth Winstead’s Democrat donation history shows contributions of $250 to Hillary Clinton for President in 2007, $250 to Bob Clement for U.S. Senate in 2002, and Friends of John Tanner in 2000.
She also gave to Republican candidates and organizations which include: the Tennessee Republican Party federal account in 2019, Corker for U.S. Senate in 2017, Black for Congress in 2016, U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell’s leadership PAC in 2014, and other donations to Black, Hagerty, and Blackburn.
Beth Winstead voted in the 2004 Democrat presidential preference primary and voted in the 2000, 1996, and 1994 August Democrat primaries. Since 2006, Beth Winstead has voted in 16 Republican primaries and no Democrat ones.
Her professional biography says she served in the administration of former Governor Ned McWherter (D-TN) and served in Nashville Democrat Mayor Phil Bredesen’s administration “where she was instrumental in bringing the Tennessee Titans NFL team to Tennessee.”
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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 GETTR, Twitter, and Parler.
Photo “Gen. Kurt Winstead” by Sgt. 1st Class Edgar Castro. Background Photo “U.S. Capitol” by Andy Feliciotti.