GOP Club Falls Apart After Censorship Demands From State Leadership

Image: Maryville, Tennessee, viewed from the Blount County Library. Image Credit: Brian Stansberry / CC

The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –

Following an ultimatum issued to the president of the Blount County Republican Women’s Club by the Tennessee Federation of Republican Women to cancel the speaking engagement of Gary Humble, the BCRW’s president resigned and now the vast majority of the club’s leadership and almost half of the active members have officially resigned.

Our source in Blount County has confirmed that 17 members of the BCRW have resigned.  This number includes now former President Heather Fair, the second Vice President & Secretary, the Treasurer, the Membership Committee Chair, Co-Chair and their committee members.  

Out of five BCRW board members, only one has decided to remain a member.

Our source tells us that while the numbers of the club are greater, only 40 members or so are active and routinely attend meetings meaning the club has lost almost half of its active membership.

With the members leaving, the Tennessee Federation of Republican Women (TFRW) will no longer be receiving membership dues from those individuals.  Each member pays $35 per year to be a member.  $24 of that amount goes to the TFRW.

Prior to the exodus of BCRW members, the TNFRW determined that by inviting “controversial figure” Gary Humble (Founder and Executive Director of Tennessee Stands) to be a guest speaker, the president of BCRW, Heather Fair, was in violation of TNFRW’s bylaws

Fair, nor us at the Tennessee Conservative could determine which portion of the bylaws TNFRW cited as just cause for the ultimatum.

The Tennessee Conservative reached out to the TNFRW’s President, Linda Kollman, for clarity on the situation but never heard back.

TNFRW offered Fair three choices to “rectify the situation”:

1) Resign immediately.

2) Rescind Humble’s invitation to speak, and Fair would be allowed to remain as President of BCRW.

3) Neither resign nor rescind the invitation, but then BCRW is subject to censure, possible fines and/or closure by the TNFRW.

Fair said, “I absolutely do not want any repercussions for the club or BCRW members, so option #3 was never even a consideration.”

“Rescinding the invite or censoring Gary (‘just give him some boundaries’ was advice heard earlier this week) goes against my principles and I refuse to do either,” Fair explained.

Standing by her principles left Fair with only one option, to resign immediately.

On September 22nd, 2022, Fair did just that, sending notice to the members of the BCRW with an explanation of the situation along with the following statement:

“Effective immediately, I am resigning as president of Blount County Republican Women. However, it is not my desire to do so,” Fair wrote.

Fair continued, “A third-party, bully outsider has been allowed to weaponize TNFRW bylaws and infringe on the 1st Amendment Rights of an invited guest. With that reality, I see no value in retaining my current post nor any affiliation with TNFRW or NFRW.”

Following, Gary Humble said, “We are not going to let the GOP establishment cancel conservatives.  We are going to have our own event…”

The event, which took place at The Station in Louisville the same night Humble was previously slated to speak at the meeting of the BCRW was a huge success.

In a social media post, Humble wrote, “Incredible night amongst conservatives and friends. Last minute pivot, 175 people here to talk about freedom in Blount County.  

Notice to the Tennessee Republican Party this is what it looks like when you work to cancel freedom. Wouldn’t it have been great for the party for all of these great people to show up to the originally planned event?

Do better. There are some amazing people here in Blount County. And the party would do well to pay attention.

Congrats to Heather Fair and her stellar leadership in making this event happen. Thanks to Kelli O’Connor and Empowered Sevier, JJ and The Station, Rick Dramm, and our Tennessee Stands team.”

More on the backstory that led to the exodus of BCRW members in our articles listed below:

Blount County Republican Women Stand Firm Against RINO Attempt To Cancel Free Speech

Blount County Republican Women’s President Stands By Her Principles, Resigns After Ultimatum Issued By TN RINOs

The Establishment Strikes Back: Purging The MAGA Agenda In Tennessee (Op-Ed)

The Tennessee Conservative has received several tips of similar issues between the GOP establishment and local GOP groups and will be investigating those topics for future articles.

About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative  ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career.  Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others.  He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History.  Contact Jason at

13 thoughts on “GOP Club Falls Apart After Censorship Demands From State Leadership

  • October 6, 2022 at 3:24 pm

    Great work, Jason! This kind of self-defeating RINO behavior by the TFRW has been going on for many years. I was a member of one of those republican women’s organizations, in fact, the largest one in the state at one time, and similar Marxist tactics went on. I ask you, what is the difference between the DemonFascists and the establishment GOP? It is a sad day ~ we must fight this! Great job Gary and Heather!

  • October 6, 2022 at 4:09 pm

    The solution is to get the message out to the districts of these RINOs and try to make voters understand the consequences of limiting free speech. I guess “make” is the wrong word, I for one and tired of being made to do anything by politicians. Lay out the facts to the voters of those districts and put up strong opposition at the voting booth.

    • October 7, 2022 at 2:19 am

      The Republican establishment in Hamilton County failed to support five school board candidates this year. Only two of the five won election. A third Rep. candidate had no opponent.
      Supposedly, this means there are six Republicans on the eleven member board.
      Stay tuned to see if they are truly conservative, Christian Republicans. Changes will happen if they will vote as a bloc.

  • October 6, 2022 at 4:40 pm

    play stupid games; win stupid prizes. Tune into #millcreekviewpodcast and hear from Heather this week!

  • October 6, 2022 at 4:43 pm

    Blount County Republicans may need to reform in an “empower” chapter like “Empower Knox” or “Empower Sevier” . RINOs are trying to control the dialog in Tennessee. Time for a change.

  • October 6, 2022 at 4:54 pm

    My wife and I were at that meeting at the Station. It’s beginning to sound like The Democrats and the establishment GOP are the same party under different names. We are
    really infuriated by the way this
    went down. The people who tried to censor Gary Humble need to leave and join their jackass (democratic) party. We believe in the grass roots party. The same holds true for Mark Pullman. He won as a write in candidate for a SEC seat and is being denied. Too many RINOs. We the people need to purge these people. They are part of the CANCELING movement like the Democrats. Being fed up with this junk is a very mild way to say how I feel.

  • October 6, 2022 at 8:42 pm

    I bet TN GOP is sorry they ever picked this fight, as it has blown up in their faces. To interfere with an election that had already been ratified by Secretary of State was a bone head move on TN GOP’s part. And here I thought we were all on the same side!! 😡

  • October 7, 2022 at 12:22 am

    Freedom of Speech plain and simple 👌 I research a lot of topics to find the truth with all the mass spins, lies and manipulation. Both sides have flaws but this is America and I maintain Political Platform determines personal choice.
    This is the exact reason we need “term limits” and less Government Control.

  • October 7, 2022 at 1:03 am

    Sounds to me like it’s high time to create the MAGA Conservative Party and make the GOP obsolete!!!

  • October 7, 2022 at 11:34 am

    I don’t think the establishment GOP care a whit about this flap or are sorry. They are arrogant and continuously unfriendly to truly conservative candidates, voters, and communities. Don expect anything different.

  • October 7, 2022 at 12:39 pm

    If the good folks would only STOP contributing to TNGOP,GOP/RNC, they’d start LISTENING!!

  • October 7, 2022 at 9:59 pm

    In all my 40+ years of voting in TN, I have never been as upset and embarrassed by the RINOs in this state as I have been these past 2 years! It literally makes me sick to my stomach. Yes, we need to purge the GOP completely out, as they are no longer conservative, patriotic, or common sensical. Many people say, “well, we have to vote for them to keep the Democrat out” and I say, what’s the difference??


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