The Tennessee GOP has voted to remove three candidates who were vying for a seat representing the state’s 5th Congressional District.
Republicans voted to boot Morgan Ortagus, Robby Starbuck, and Baxter Lee from the primary ballot, Tennessee Republican Chairman Scott Golden told news outlets.
Golden and the party did not respond to requests for more information.
Ortagus, a State Department spokeswoman during the Trump administration who recently moved from Washington, was just endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
Starbuck, a filmmaker who used to live in California, has promoted Trump policies such as strong border enforcement.
Lee is a businessman who has described himself as a conservative outsider.
The vote came after state lawmakers passed legislation that requires congressional candidates to have resided in Tennessee for at least three years to appear on primary ballots.
But Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican, returned the legislation to lawmakers without his signature.
The legislation will still become law but it will not apply to the 2022 election, the Tennessee Secretary of State’s Office told news outlets.
“We feel the voters are best able to determine who should represent them in Congress,” a spokesperson for Lee told outlets.
Candidates removed from the ballot offered similar arguments.
“I believe that voters in Middle Tennessee should pick their representative—not establishment party insiders,” Ortagus said in a statement obtained by The Epoch Times. “Our team is evaluating the options before us.”
Starbuck said in March that he’s only been registered with one party before and has only donated to GOP candidates.
“Not allowing me on the ballot would disenfranchise a huge segment of our voters in Tennessee, discourage people from engaging in the process and most of all it would reek of the dirty politics that makes so many distrust our elections,” he said at the time.
On Wednesday, Starbuck said: “Sadly in Tennessee candidates are NOT elected, they’re SELECTED by a tiny group of establishment RINO hacks. We’ll fight this with every ounce of fight we have. They declared war on TN voters yesterday. It’s not about me, it’s about YOU and I’ll fight for your right to vote.”
This is an excerpt from The Epoch Times.
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.