Image Credit: MorganOrtagus.com
The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
Once endorsed by former President Donald Trump for Tennessee District 5’s spot in the U.S. House, one former candidate is serving as a national security advisor for another campaign after Republican Party officials found her to be ineligible to run for office.
Republican Congressional candidate Kurt Winstead’s team announced on Monday that Morgan Ortagus was now serving as the co-chair of a newly formed National Security Advisory Committee for his campaign.
Winstead is a retired brigadier general in the Tennessee National Guard. He touted Ortagus’ work as a U.S. Navy Reserve officer and noted that she had worked in the U.S. State Department and had recently started a national security advocacy group.
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Ortagus formerly served as a State Department spokesperson under Trump and had received his endorsement for the state office. She is one of three candidates who were taken off of the August primary ballot for the newly redrawn 5th Congressional District. Voting officials removed them due to concerns with their voting records.
A number of candidates are vying for the spot left open by Democratic Representative Jim Cooper who said he would not seek reelection because he did not want to run in the redrawn district. He believed the new lines made it unlikely that he would win.
Republican critics of Ortagus’ candidacy felt that her recent move to the state kept her from having a good understanding of the district or its constituents. A number of other Republicans are seeking the seat as well, including Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles and former Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell.
After a measure was passed that would place residency requirements on most U.S. House and Senate candidates, Governor Bill Lee failed to sign the bill, allowing it to become law without his signature after the filing deadline had already passed. Because of this, it would not be applied retroactively.
However, eventual challenges to various election rules pushed Ortagus off of the ballot, along with Baxter Lee and Robby Starbuck. Starbuck has since taken the matter to court, where a judge has ruled against him.
Ortagus’ new role still gives her an in to state government, although not in the role she originally intended.
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 news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com