TN GOP Forces Lifelong Republican To Run As Independent For Hamilton County School Board

Image Credit: Tennessee Republican Party / Facebook

The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –

Christine Essex is a lifelong Republican who was forced to run as an Independent by the Tennessee Republican Party, potentially costing her the District 10 Hamilton County School Board seat.

Essex tells us that in “seeing huge problems” in Hamilton County Schools, she chose to run for school board with hopes that she could make changes for the better.

She has been a resident of Hamilton county for 52 years, has always voted Republican and tells us that she came from a very Conservative Republican family. 

According to Essex, one of her three daughters was bullied and assaulted in the Hamilton County school system, leading her to switch to homeschooling – this being one of the issues that led her to seek the school board position after the school system did nothing to protect her daughter.

Essex tells us that after she picked up the paperwork for the position and was then required to get signatures to be on the ballot, she was called by the Chairman of the Hamilton County Republican Party, Arch Trimble IV, and told that she could not run as a Republican candidate because of “changes within the GOP.”

Trimble told Essex that the situation was “out of his hands” and that he “had no control over it,” which led Essex to call the Tennessee GOP’s State Party Chairman Scott Golden.

According to Essex, Golden informed her that because she did not vote in a “couple of primaries,” she is not considered a bona fide Republican.

Essex explained to Golden that she had voted Republican in every election, but had not voted in every primary.  But Golden stated that new rules dictate that because she hadn’t voted in three out of the last four primaries, she was not considered bona fide by the GOP.

Essex told us that when she engaged with Golden with further questions, “He got mad at me and hung up.”

Because Essex was determined to effect change for the better at HCS, she said she still wanted to run for school board, but was only left with the option of running as an Independent.

“I knew running as an independent would hurt me, But I still wanted to run because I wanted to make a difference,” she said.

According to the Hamilton County Election Commission’s official results, Essex came in third in District 10 with 224 votes.  Faye Robinson, who ran on the Republican ticket, came in first with 2,483 votes followed by Democrat Jeff Crim in second with 871 votes.

“I no longer have trust in the Republican party, as I have learned that a lot of Republicans are RINOs and back stabbers,” Essex said.

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

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3 thoughts on “TN GOP Forces Lifelong Republican To Run As Independent For Hamilton County School Board

  • September 15, 2022 at 4:05 pm

    I met Crissy Essex just after I found out that my 8th grader was being bullied at Red Bank Middle school (after just one month of going there. We connected and joined forces to speak out against the out of control bullying, assaults, and problems the kids of Hamilton County are suffering. Crissy supported and helped dozens of parents like me, that found themselves in the position of their child being terrorized with little or no help from the school system. It’s a shame the Hamilton county did not see her as ‘bona fide’, as she may have won a seat, if they’d have chosen differently and let her compete as the Republican which she has always been. The unheard children and parents of Hamilton county deserved to have someone as dedicated as Crissy. I think it’s time for a change in Hamilton county spineless GOP leadership.

  • September 15, 2022 at 6:44 pm

    The Republican Party is a fraud! It truly is Democrat lite. No new ideas, grabbing their ankles for corporate donors. They are a leaderless party circling the political drain.

  • September 16, 2022 at 7:58 pm

    I have long since ceased sending $ to either the RNC or NRCC. Especially now seeing the $ squandered from donors to fund McConnell and McCarthy’s efforts against MAGA. Time for real changes. Make politics difficult and get rid of McConnell, McCarthy, Graham and so many more Uniparty collaborator RINO.


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