Recent TN-5 Republican Primary Entrant Baxter Lee Voted in 2020 Democrat Presidential Primary

Baxter Lee


Records show that a recent entrant into the race for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District seat, businessman Baxter Lee, voted in the 2020 Democrat presidential primary.

The Tennessee Star reached out to Baxter Lee to confirm the authenticity of the voting record supplied by the Williamson County Election Commission. Lee confirmed the records and issued a statement on his vote in the 2020 Democrat presidential primary.

In 2020, I followed the advice of Rush Limbaugh’s operation chaos, and voted in the Democratic primary to help secure the best match-up for President Trump. That November, I voted for Donald J. Trump against Joe Biden, the worst president in the history of our great country. I am a lifelong Republican voter, donor, and supporter. From 1994, when Tennessee first elected Fred Thompson, Van Hilleary, Zach Wamp and Bill Frist, to my time working for Fred Thompson, I have always supported Tennessee Republicans. I was a Republican when Democrats were the majority in Tennessee, and I am proud to be one today.

The Star asked Lee, as a follow-up question, which of the Democrat presidential candidates he voted for, and have not yet heard back as of this writing. Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Tulsi Gabbard were on the March 3, 2020 Democrat ballot. It is currently unclear which of the Democrat field received Lee’s vote.

A document that purports to be a Williamson County election record reviewed by The Star shows that Baxter Lee  voted in two of the last four Republican primaries (August 2020 and August 2018), but apparently not in the August 2016 Republican primary. If true, this would mean Baxter Lee voted in two of the last four statewide Republican primaries which fails to satisfy part of the Tennessee Republican Party bylaws requirements to run in a Republican primary: having voted in three of the last four statewide Republican primaries.

As there is no mention of what effect voting in a Democrat or other political party nominating process has on a candidate’s status, it is currently unclear if voting in a Democrat statewide primary would make a candidate’s bona fide status vulnerable to a challenge.

Section 2 of Article IX of the Tennessee Republican Party bylaws governs the challenging of a candidate’s “bona fide status.”

The challenge is made to the state chairman from two or more registered voters from within the district that the candidate is running in. A statewide candidate could get challenged from any area of the state, while a congressional candidate could only be challenged from that congressional district. All the individuals making the challenge must “voted in at least three (3) of the last four (4) most recent statewide Republican primary elections. Such a challenge must be made no later than five (5) days before the deadline for removal of a candidate’s name from a ballot under TCA Section 2-5-204 or otherwise, or any other applicable deadline.”

As of this writing, Baxter Lee is the only candidate identified by The Star whose voting record shows a recent vote in a Democrat primary.

Of the candidates that are publicly announced, more than one may be vulnerable to a challenge to bona fide Republican status. Robby Starbuck’s voting record shows that he never voted in a Republican primary in Tennessee. Sources have told The Star that former Trump administration spokesman Morgan Ortagus did not register to vote in Tennessee until November of 2021.

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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Baxter Lee” by Baxter Lee.




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7 Thoughts to “Recent TN-5 Republican Primary Entrant Baxter Lee Voted in 2020 Democrat Presidential Primary”

  1. […] show he voted in three of the past four Republican statewide primaries in Tennessee. Baxter Lee voted in two of the last four Republican statewide primaries and also voted in the 2020 Democrat […]

  2. Truth

    I guess none of you low information voters have heard of “Operation Chaos.”

  3. Nancy

    This guy is a joke! He is following little Bob Corker! And then we also have Dizzy Bill Hagerty! Hagerty please share with us Tennesseans your stock picks! You bought $56,000 in stock and sold $4,000,000 while being in the senate representing Tennesseans! Why don’t share stock picks to help us out? Please put your investment portfolio in a blind Trust or resign! You are embarrassing yourself and Tennesseans ! Where is the Tennessee Gop ? Why aren’t they demanding congressman and senators place their investments in a blind Trust! Tennessee Star please investigate this and publish your findings! Dizzy Bill is out of touch with Tennesseans!

  4. Kevin

    Oh yeah, he followed Rush Limbaugh’s advice…and voted Democratic. Of course, he did! Just when you thought that you had heard everything…a new line of BS!

    Tennessee already sends too many “slick-talking”, “back-stabbing”, “BS spinning”, “swamp dwellers” to DC! Just say (and vote) NO to these idiots!

  5. LM

    Looking more like mayor Ogles all the time.

  6. Randy

    Proof positive that if elected we can count on this guy to thumb his nose at the Republican Party. The state GOP voted to close the Republican Primaries a few years ago to prevent this type of stupidity.. Of course the super majority “Republican Legislature” did not let the bill out of committee. A lack of intestinal fortitude and political stunts are what is destroying our Republic. Give this guy a big fat NO at the polls.