Live from Music Row Tuesday 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 Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in the studio who promised to defend conservative Tennessean values against newly arrived candidates from out of state.
Leahy: I think this studio is in the new Fifth Congressional District. We’re in-studio with the mayor of Maury County. I’m going to pause for our listeners because they know what to say right now.
The mayor of Maury County pause, pause, pause…that bastion of freedom, that turbocharged engine of economic growth, Andy Ogles. Andy, so I’ll ask you the big question. All our listeners want to know. Are you ready? It’s not a curveball.
Ogles: Probably not, but go ahead.
Leahy: It’s not a curveball. It is a fastball coming down the middle of the plate. The Fifth Congressional District, which used to be almost entirely Davidson County, plus 22 Biden in 2020. Incumbent Congressman Jim Cooper, Democrat representative since 1993.
He’s announced his retirement after the new boundaries of the district have been passed by the Tennessee General Assembly and are awaiting signature by the governor. Possible legal challenge.
Most people think the legal challenge by the Democrats would fail. The new district would include parts of Davidson County, parts of Wilson County, parts of Williamson County, all of Maury County, where, by the way, you are the mayor. I think you knew that. (Laughter)
Ogles: And a few of your listeners.
Leahy: And all of Marshall and all of Lewis County. I have read in the press that there are a number of people considering it. I’ve heard Beth Harwell, former Speaker. I heard her name talked about.
Of course, we know already. Robby Starbuck has announced, the carpetbagger from California. My words, not yours. And another carpetbagger, Morgan Ortagus, has been endorsed by the president if she runs. My words, not yours.
And when Morgan if she announces when she comes in, we will ask her to address the carpetbagger issue again. Carpetbaggers have a legal right if they move to a state to run for the House of Representatives.
Ok. I’ve heard of Kurt Winstead. I’ve heard of Baxton Lee. There’s another name prominently mentioned as a potential candidate in the Fifth Congressional District.
And that’s you, Andy Ogles.
Andy, have you decided whether or not you will run for the Fifth Congressional District seat?
Ogles: It’s an interesting conversation, and I think it’s worth something that we should discuss here, the importance of the Fifth District not only in Tennessee but in the country.
But it’s funny to not be a candidate and to be considered a front-runner. One of the candidates that you mentioned has actually done a poll. I’m leading in their own poll, and now I’m being attacked. So here I’m not a candidate.
Leahy: You’re not a candidate yet.
Ogles: I haven’t even made comments.
Leahy: And we don’t know if you will be a candidate. You and I are good friends.
Ogles: That’s right.
Leahy: But I don’t know if you’re going to run or not because you hold these things very close to the vest.
Ogles: But I’m being attacked. And so that shows you what’s at stake here. But going back to your comment that it’s roughly 766,000, we’ll just do an even number. There’s 750,000 per congressional district plus.
I’m confident that someone from this district who is from Tennessee is qualified to lead that district. And we don’t need people from D.C. or wherever parachuting people into this district and telling Tennessee and how they should be governed.
Leahy: Before we get to the importance of the Fifth District, which is very important, let’s just go back to that initial question, Andy. (Laughs)
Have you decided whether or not you will seek the Republican nomination in the Fifth Congressional District?
Ogles: Obviously, with Maury County being a prominent part of that district, it makes sense for me to look at it. I’m in a wait-and-see pattern right now. The maps have not, that I’m aware of, have not been signed by the governor.
They have not faced a legal challenge. If I were to decide to do it, I think most people would argue that I would be considered one of the and a kind of a broad statement there, one of the front-runners. I’m well known in Middle Tennessee.
I’m from Williamson County. I’ve been fighting for conservative causes in Middle Tennessee and organizing the grassroots.
So I’ll make this promise to you, I’m going to be heavily involved in the Fifth Congressional District, and I’m going to make sure that some carpet bagger that just parachuted into this state does not try to steal this from Tennesseans because it is imperative that one of us governs in the Fifth District and not somebody that just moved here because it’s a career move.
Leahy: I take that you’ve not decided whether you will enter the race.
Ogles: I’ll just be honest with you. I’m offended right now that we have a couple of folks who have never voted in a Republican primary moving into Tennessee and thinking that they’re smarter than we are. No!
And I think as I talk to people, that is going to resonate. It is the truth. There’s not been a person that I’ve met that said, hey, you know what? He or she has a great resume, but they need to go back home.
If you’re from Florida, go run in Florida. If you’re from California, go run in California. But we Tennessee, and we can find one of our own to run in this district.
Leahy: Just to kind of illustrate that point, for the record, you haven’t decided apparently, yes?
Ogles: No, but my blood pressure is going up when we talk about this because it really ticks me off! (Leahy laughs) They’ve never voted in a Republican primary. You’ve got to be kidding me!
Leahy: In Tennessee.
Ogles: And you want to be my congressman?
Leahy: That’s a very good point. By the way, Beth Harwell has already told us, former Speaker of the House, that if she announces, she will do it right here on this program.
So I’ll extend the same offer to you. It won’t hurt my feelings if you announce elsewhere, but it would be nice if you would announce here. If you chose to announce.
Ogles: And I will say Baxter Lee, I’ve met him once. The actual post reported in the last 48 hours that he’s a candidate. And then I actually had a business meeting, so there’s a business up in Wilson County looking to move to Maury County.
And while I was there, I went to a conservative Republican group, and he actually spoke there as a candidate. So apparently he’s in.
Leahy: I haven’t seen a formal announcement. That’s right.
Ogles: But he’s now again, I saw him speak.
Leahy: Baxter Lee, you’re welcome to come in-studio and if you haven’t formally announced, you can announce here. Morgan Ortagus, if you’re going to announce, you can announce here, we’ll be happy to talk to you.
And by the way, on the carpetbagger issue, there’s 750,000 residents roughly in that district. I think 749,990 have lived in that district longer than Morgan Ortagus. And probably about 740,000 have lived in that district longer than Robby Starbuck.
Ogles: Absolutely. And those are the facts, whether you like them or not.
Leahy: And none of them have lived in that district longer than you have. (Chuckles)
Ogles: Well, in fact, I’m told that Morgan Ortagus doesn’t even live in the district.
Leahy: Yes, I saw that, too.
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