Why would they do this?
Morgan Ortagus was removed by the Tennessee Republican Party. Ortagus, who had former President Trump’s endorsement, as well as two others were removed from the August primary ballot in the state’s 5th Congressional District. This was reported by NBC News.
Ortagus, who during the Trump administration was a State Department spokeswoman, was disqualified by the GOP’s State Executive Committee (SEC) on Tuesday. The reason for this is that her move to Tennessee had been recent.
“I am deeply disappointed in the SEC’s decision,” Ortagus said in a statement. “I’m a bonafide Republican by their standards, and frankly, by any metric. I’m further disappointed that the party insiders at the Tennessee Republican Party do not seem to share my commitment to President Trump’s America First policies.”
She further noted, “voters in Middle Tennessee should pick their representative — not establishment party insiders.” She added that “our team is evaluating the options before us.”
The primary is believed to be by many the stage in which Trump’s influence will truly be tested.
Currently, the SEC can remove candidates from the primary ballot if they do not adhere to the state GOP’s bylaws. The bylaws state that each candidate should be voted in three of the last four Republican primaries. They also need to be active participants in the state or local GOP parties.
Apart from Ortagus, candidates Robby Starbuck and Baxter Lee were also removed from the ballot.
While Ortagus entered the primary for the 5th District in February with Trump’s “complete and total endorsement,” many were critical of her candidacy as she had moved to Tennessee a year prior.
With the SEC removing three candidates, the crowd competing becomes much smaller. Amongst the most popular candidates, one can find retired National Guard Brig. Gen. Kurt Winstead, former House Speaker Beth Harwell, and Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles.