Trump-backed house candidate removed from ballot by Republican lawmakers

The Tennessee Republican Party resolved on Tuesday to remove former State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortags and two others from the August primary in the state’s Fifth Parliamentary District.

Voting is The culmination of months of effort by both Republicans and activists She just moved to the state recently, so she launched Ortagus. She was approved by former President Donald Trump.

“I am deeply disappointed with the SEC’s decision,” Ortagus said in a statement, referring to the party’s state executive committee. “I’m a genuine Republican by their standards, and frankly by any standard. It looks like Tennessee Republican insiders don’t share my commitment to President Trump’s America First policy. I’m even more disappointed.

“As I’ve always said, I believe voters in central Tennessee should choose their representatives, not the founding party insiders,” she continued. “Our team is evaluating options in front of us.”

The state Republican executive committee has the authority to disqualify candidates from the primary elections. Because I did not comply with the party’s bylawsThis requires candidates to vote in three of the last four GOP primaries and actively participate in state or local Republicans. Republican Chairman Scott Golden has resolved that the Commission will dismiss Altergas and his fellow candidates Robby Starbuck and Baxter Lee.

in recent years, The party scuttled many candidates Because it does not meet the qualifications. Last month, the district leader disqualified the challenged candidate by guaranteeing them in front of the committee, even if the candidate’s voting record did not comply with the party’s bylaws. Said that it can help prevent.

The Ortagus campaign claimed that she met all the articles of association of the state party — enough to vote in the recent GOP primary, join the Republican women’s group, and contribute to the state party. In a statement prior to the vote, Ortagus spent weeks with members of the State Executive Committee: “My core conservative beliefs, my background in the Trump administration and the U.S. Navy Reserve, and myself. Our state and our country. “

“President Donald Trump believes I’m the perfect person to fight for his America First agenda and Central Tennessee in Congress, and my fellow Tennessees, including TNGOPSEC members, do that. I’m working hard to understand why, “she said.

Primary is one of many in the country where Trump’s influence is being tested.

With the “full and complete support” of the former president, Ortagus joined the newly drawn Competitive Primary in District 5 in February, but her candidacy is in some states and regions. Offended Republicans. She lives in the district she is trying to represent. Her critics say her long-standing criticism of Trump and support for Jeb Bush in the 2016 Republican preliminary elections, and her wedding was held by Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Liberal Supreme Court. Emphasizes the facts.

In recent weeks, the state legislature has passed a bill that disqualifies her from the primary if it goes into effect before the April 7 submission deadline. The law requiring parliamentary candidates to live in the state for three years to qualify for the first vote was held for 10 days by Republican Governor Bill Lee before allowing it to become law without signing. Overwhelmingly passed the GOP-controlled parliament.

Spokesperson of the Secretary of State of Tennessee Told the Associated Press The bill does not retroactively apply to candidates who qualify for voting by the deadline earlier this month.

“I voted for Trump. I supported him,” Republican Senator Frank Niceley, who led the bill, said in an interview last month. “As long as he is alive, I will vote for Trump, but I don’t want him to come here to tell me who he will vote for.”

For weeks, rumors swirled in local Republican circles that Trump wouldn’t mind if Altergas’ bid was blocked before voters had the opportunity to consider her candidacy.

In a previous interview, former Speaker of the House Beth Harwell was endorsed by the Primary and recently fired Nicely. After he summoned Adolf Hitler in a state legislature floor speech As for the homeless, it was suggested that only Jewish members of Trump’s family were concerned about the Altergas candidacy. Of her Jewish faith..

“I don’t think Trump cares about one or the other,” he said. “I think Jared Kushner-he’s Jewish and she’s Jewish-I think Jared is upset. Ivanka is upset. I don’t think Trump cares.”

this week, Tennessee Beth Campbell, a member of the Republican National Committee, said in an email on April 10 that the state GOP removed Ortagus from the ballot, telling her “RNC sources” that “Trump is okay.” I reported that I said that.

In a statement to the Tennessians, Trump spokesman Taylor Glitch denied Campbell’s allegations. He did not respond to requests for comment from NBC News.

“It’s a dirty lie, and no one should be surprised to find RINO in Tennessee quietly pulling a string to illegally remove President Trump’s supporter, Morgan Ortags, from ballots. “He told Tennessee. “RINO” is an acronym for “Republican by name only”.

Meanwhile, Starback, a right-wing personality who moved to District 5 in 2019 and was endorsed by Trump supporters and some prominent lawmakers, opposed the State party process and said, “A simple mistake. “.

“My life has only been registered with one party and I have donated to Republican candidates,” he said in a statement last month. “Not including me in ballots is a big voter. It will deprive the part of the rights. ” In Tennessee, people will be discouraged from participating in this process, and above all, many will dislike the dirty politics that distrust our elections. “

Starbucks, who did not immediately respond to the request for comment, tweeted a video of Breitbart News founder Andrew Breitbart Tuesday night, stating:war.. “

The main feature is 12 candidates, mainly in the area south of Nashville. The existing Fifth District is being held by Democratic longtime member Jim Cooper, who announced his retirement after a new Republican-owned parliamentary voting map was released and the district was swung significantly to the right. ..