Misleading Claims Promoted About Disqualification of Ortagus and Starbuck from TN-5 Race

The aftermath of the Tennessee Republican Party’s removal of Morgan Ortagus, Robby Starbuck, and Baxter Lee from the TN-5 ballot has seen several news outlets, social media influencers, national political figures, and affected candidates have make misinformed claims.

CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Star News Digital Media Michael Patrick Leahy, which owns and operates The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network, provided a full step-by-step breakdown of what really happened that led to Morgan Ortagus, Robby Starbuck, and Baxter Lee’s disqualification from the TN-5 race.

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Sean Hannity Got Facts Completely Wrong in Radio Monologue on TNGOP Disqualification of Morgan Ortagus

Sean Hannity got the facts completely wrong in a monologue he gave on the Monday, April 25 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program on the Tennessee Republican Party’s action disqualifying carpetbagger Morgan Ortagus from the Tennessee 5th Congressional District August 4 Republican Primary race.

On his radio show, Hannity accused the TNGOP of “actually being willing to change the rules in the middle of the game.”

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Morgan Ortagus Says She’s ‘Not Really Sure’ Why She Was Disqualified from TN-5 Ballot

Morgan Ortagus, a former candidate for the Republican nomination for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District seat, told a Fox News host on Monday morning that she didn’t know why she was disqualified from the ballot.

“You know, I’m not really sure, Brian,” Ortagus responded to Fox News host Brian Kilmeade when he asked her, “You’re not going to have a chance to run for the Republican nomination in Tennessee as a congresswoman. You got booted off the ballot, why?”

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Carpetbagger Morgan Ortagus Alleges Tennessee Republican Party Corruption to Entire Country on Fox News but Offers No Evidence

Former TN-5 candidate Morgan Ortagus told Fox News host Brian Kilmeade on Monday morning that the Tennessee Republican Party is corrupt but offered no evidence to corroborate her claims.

Ortagus told Kilmeade at the close of an interview, “We’re going to work on efforts to clean up the corruption here in the Tennessee GOP as well.”

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The Real Story of How the Tennessee GOP Followed the Party’s Bylaws to Disqualify Three Candidates from the TN-5 Primary Ballot

Many national and local news outlets have reported inaccurately about the process by which the Tennessee Republican Party (TRP) disqualified three candidates from the August 4, 2022 GOP primary ballot in Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District on April 19, 2022.

In the immediate aftermath of this decision made by the TRP in accordance with its bylaws and the laws of Tennessee, Robby Starbuck (legal name Robert Starbuck Newsom), one of the three disqualified candidates, delivered a series of press interviews and social media statements in which he made false claims about the integrity of the TRP’s process in handling his disqualification.

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It’s Official: Carpbetbaggers Morgan Ortagus and Robby Starbuck Are Off the Tennessee 5th Congressional District GOP Primary Ballot

Scott Golden, the chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party, submitted a letter on Wednesday morning in accordance with party bylaws and the state code to Mark Goins, the coordinator of elections for the state of Tennessee, officially notifying him that disqualified Tennessee 5th Congressional District candidates Morgan Ortagus, Robby Starbuck, and Baxter Lee are removed “completely from the Republican August primary ballot.”

The letter included a notification of the full list of candidates in a variety of races that the TNGOP voted to restore to the ballot, as well as the full list of candidates, in accordance with state law, that the party voted to remove completely.

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Nashville Morning Show with Dan Mandis: TN GOP Chair Scott Golden, ‘We Set Out the Standards and Unfortunately the Candidates Didn’t Meet Them’

Wednesday morning on the Nashville Morning Show, host Mandis welcomed Chairman of the Tennessee GOP Scott Golden to the show to explain how Morgan Ortagus, Robby Starbuck, and Baxter Lee failed to meet the Republican Party’s candidate standards.

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Ortagus Reacts to the TNGOP’s Decision to Disqualify Her from the Ballot

Former State Department spokesman and now-former candidate for the GOP nomination for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District seat Morgan Ortagus issued a statement on the decision by the select committees of the Tennessee Republican Party to disqualify her candidacy.

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TNGOP Chair: Committee Voted to Disqualify Morgan Ortagus, Robby Starbuck, and Baxter Lee from TN-5 GOP Ballot

TNGOP Scott Golden has confirmed to The Tennessee Star that as of Tuesday evening, Morgan Ortagus, Robby Starbuck, and Baxter Lee, and are no longer candidates for the TN-5 GOP nomination due to a vote by a select committee of the Tennessee Republican party.

The select committee voted not to restore Robby Starbuck, Morgan Ortagus, and Baxter Lee to the ballot after they were previously removed because of verified challenges to their bona fide status.

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Weak Fundraising Report for TN-5 Carpetbagger Candidate Robby Starbuck: Raised Only $104k, with 64 Percent from Out-of-State

The first quarter of 2022 finance report filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) by TN-5 candidate Robby Starbuck shows that he raised just over $104,000 in the first three months of the year, with 64.73% percent of that– $67,666– coming from out-of-state, and just 35.26 percent of it–$36,857–coming from Tennessee.

Starbuck raised $104,523.78 for the Federal Election Commission reporting period covering January 1, 2022 through March 31, 2022 but had a very high burn rate, spending $71,003.56 of it.

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Tennessee Secretary of State’s Office Provides Partial Clarification on Applicability of Law to Carpetbaggers Morgan Ortagus and Robby Starbuck, but Leaves Out Key State Code

The Tennessee Secretary of State’s office provided partial clarification on the applicability of the newly enacted three-year residency law to carpetbaggers Morgan Ortagus and Robby Starbuck, but left out a reference to a key part of state code.

The Tennessee Star previously reported that mere hours after the enactment of the new three-year residency law for federal candidates in primaries, Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s office offered conflicting comments about whether he intends to enforce the new law and remove “carpetbagger” candidates from the August 4 Republican primary ballot.

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TN Secretary of State Offers Conflicting Comments on Whether He Will Enforce Residency Law and Remove Carpetbaggers from the TN-5 Ballot

Within hours of the enactment of a new law on Wednesday that requires candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives in Tennessee to be residents of the state for three years prior to their placement on a primary ballot, Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s office offered conflicting comments about whether he intends to enforce the new law and remove “carpetbagger” candidates from the August 4 Republican primary ballot.

Reaction from Tennessee state legislators to the comments from the Secretary of State’s office  were swift and pointed.

Sources tell The Tennessee Star that if the Tennessee Secretary of State refuses to enforce the newly enacted law and remove any candidate from the ballot for the U.S. House who fails to meet the three-year residency requirement he will be sued to require him to enforce the law.

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Sources: Andy Ogles Will Focus on TN-5 Congressional Bid and Not Run for Re-election as Maury County Mayor

Sources close to Andy Ogles tell The Tennessee Star that he will announce later this week that he will focus on his bid for the TN-5 GOP nomination and will withdraw as a candidate for re-election as mayor of Maury County.

First elected mayor in 2018, Ogles is currently the GOP nominee for Maury County mayor in the Aug 4 county general election, which is scheduled to be held on the same day and in the same Maury County polling locations as the TN-5 GOP primary election.

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Morgan Ortagus, Robby Starbuck, Baxter Lee Removed from the TN-5 GOP Primary Ballot – for Now

On Saturday, April 9, Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Scott Golden briefed the TNGOP State Executive Committee on the challenge process, explaining that the challenges would be adjudicated before noon on April 21.

Prior to the start of the meeting, there was some confusion, as sources expected the TNGOP to take action on the challenges at Saturday’s meeting.

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Tennessee Republican Party Set to Hold Hearing on Challenges to TN-5 Candidates’ Bona Fide Statuses

A select committee made up of members of the Tennessee Republican Party State Executive Committee are making preparations to hold a hearing on several challenges that were made to GOP bona fide statuses of candidates in Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District (TN-5).

The Tennessee Star previously reported that challenges had been received and verified by the TNGOP to the Republican bona fide statutes of carpetbaggers Morgan Ortagus and Robby Starbuck, as well as Baxter Lee. David Vitalli had been challenged as well, but he decided to exit the race and did not turn in his qualifying petitions.

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Records Indicate Carpetbagger Morgan Ortagus Now Resides in the 5th Congressional District

Records show that Tennessee newcomer and D.C. insider Morgan Ortagus has finally moved into the boundaries of Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional district, a district she seeks to represent in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Tennessee Star previously reported on February 9 that Ortagus did not live in the district. Her voter registration record showed that the address she registered to vote from was not located within the Tennessee Fifth Congressional district lines.

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Tennessee Republican Party Has Received and Verified Eligibility Challenges to TN-5 Candidates Morgan Ortagus, Robby Starbuck, David Vitalli, and Baxter Lee

Baxter Lee and Morgan Ortagus

Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Scott Golden has confirmed to The Tennessee Star that the state party has received and verified challenges to the Republican bona fide status and ballot eligibility of TN-5 carpetbagger candidates Morgan Ortagus, Robby Starbuck, and David Vitalli.

Baxter Lee’s status has also been challenged, likely due to his vote in the 2020 Democrat presidential preference primary.

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Challenges Filed to Eligibility of TN-5 Candidates Morgan Ortagus and Robby Starbuck to Be on GOP Primary Ballot

Sources have told The Tennessee Star that the Republican bona fide statuses of Republican primary candidates for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District seat, carpetbaggers Morgan Ortagus and Robby Starbuck, have been challenged.

The Star reached out to Tennessee GOP Chair Scott Golden to confirm that challenges have been filed against Ortagus and Starbuck. Golden confirmed that challenges have been made to Republicans in the race but he did not specify which candidates had been challenged. He also did not deny that Ortagus and Starbuck have been challenged.

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State GOP Chairman Scott Golden Unravels Tennessee Republican Party Bylaws for Qualifying Candidates to Run for Office

Scott Golden

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Tennessee Republican Party Chairman, Scott Golden to the newsmaker line to clarify bylaws and standards for candidates.

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Tennessee General Assembly Gives Redistricting Plans to Governor, Democrats Repeat Plans to Sue

The General Assembly has officially transmitted the passed redistricting plans to Governor Lee for his signature.

Lt. Governor and the Speaker of the Senate Randy McNally signed the new Senate legislative district and congressional district bills on Wednesday, January 26. He signed the state house district bill on Thursday, January 27. State House Speaker Cameron Sexton signed all three bills on January 27. They were then transmitted to Governor Lee for action on the same day.

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Tennessee State Senate Approves House Legislative District Maps

In their final vote on redistricting, the Tennessee State Senate has approved the state house legislative district maps by a vote of 23-6.

The new district map proposal for the State House was the remaining item on the Senate’s redistricting agenda. The new maps now head to Governor Lee’s desk for his signature.

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Tennessee Communities Join Up in Grassroots GOP Coalition to Hold Elected Officials Accountable

A grassroots GOP coalition of 14 counties and various community members formed recently to hold state lawmakers accountable. Humphreys County GOP Republican Party convened on Thursday evening to sign letters addressed to state and national-level Tennessee leaders. 

During the meeting, Humphreys County GOP Chair Wayne Miller explained that this coalition was also a means of keeping the people informed, something he says that the lawmakers have neglected.

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Tennessee GOP Officials Receive Detailed Death Threats

One or more anonymous people, apparently out of Knoxville, allegedly and recently mailed death threats to members of the Tennessee Republican Party’s State Executive Committee — at each of their home addresses.

Tennessee GOP spokeswoman Delaney Dickey told The Tennessee Star in an email Monday that party officials have encouraged members to contact their local enforcement agencies.

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Tennessee State Senator Kerry Roberts: ‘Every Worker is an Essential Worker’

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. – Leahy was joined on the line during the program’s second hour by Tennessee State Senator Kerry Roberts.

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Nowville: Senators, Governors and Celebrities Set to Flock to Tennessee in Upcoming Months for Election Support

On Thursday’s Gill Report –broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 1510 WLAC weekdays at 7:30 am– Star News Digital Media National Political Editor Steve Gill discussed the upcoming onslaught of Senators, Governors, and Celebrities slated to hit Tennessee soil in the upcoming weeks to support their chosen candidates and the motivation…

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