Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed GOP candidate for Nashville’s Fifth District, Robby Starbuck, to the newsmakers line to discuss his motivation for running, an endorsement by Senator Rand Paul, and his upcoming Critical Race Theory event in Franklin on May 19.
Leahy: We are joined now by our very good friend, Robby Starbuck, who’s running for the GOP nomination in the Fifth Congressional District here in Tennessee. Good morning, Robby.
Starbuck: Good morning. How are you guys doing?
Leahy: We’re doing great. So you’re running for Congress. Tell us a little bit about what your theme is.
Starbuck: One of the primary goals for me is ensuring that we have a voice in Congress that pushes back against this Marxist movement on the left. I saw very clearly that this movement, the rise of the far left has a lot of parallels to what happened to my family in Cuba.
For those who don’t know, that’s where my family came from. And not enough good men and women stood up to the Marxists there and they lost their country and they lost their freedom. So that’s step one. Be a constant sort of antidote to the poison of Marxism that’s rising in the Democratic Party.
On the flip side of that, in terms of policy to be productive now, we want to bring some real change, like school choice to America. I think parents deserve to be able to have the money follow their child. We shouldn’t have a one size fits all system.
I think we’ve seen with all the craziness in public schools that that sort of indoctrination and leaving it to the government is not something that’s helping our kids. And parents are really unhappy about it.
Leahy: Where do people go on the web to find out about your campaign for Congress?
Starbuck: Right now, they can go to freedomforever.us. to sign up to volunteer. My full campaign site, Starbuck 2022 will launch in about two weeks. It’s pretty much done now, but we were waiting on a few things to get it completely solidified.
Leahy: Tell us a little bit about your own personal story, what your business background is, how long you’ve lived in Nashville, and your family situation.
Starbuck: Absolutely. I was first actually known as a producer, director, self-directed, and produced Oscar-winning actors, actresses, and some of the biggest music stars in the world. I think that that side of my life is actually a really nice fit for Nashville being Music City and having that industry experience.
I think it’s a nice fit. But in terms of my family, we’re one of those families where we weren’t lucky enough to be born in Tennessee. But we came as fast as we could. As soon as I came out as a Republican and burned down my career essentially to do what I’m doing now, we knew we were going to have to move.
California was not a fit. It was something that was really destructive for our kids. We didn’t want to raise them there. And Tennessee was the place we fell in love with. And my wife and I knew that that’s where we had wanted to go for a long time.
So it was about two and a half years ago now that we bought our farm here. And we’re just so excited about it. We love Tennessee. Our kids had never been happier.
Leahy: You have a farm. Tell us about your farm.
Starbuck: Oh, it’s fun. It’s fun. Actually, we thought we were going to build a barn and everything and do all this stuff, and we got there, and this is one of the things about Tennessee that’s so amazing is our neighbors have been so awesome that we didn’t even end up needing to build one.
Our daughter rides all the time at our neighbor’s house. They have a bunch of horses and we have so many animals next door that we don’t even need to. It’s been kind of amazing.
Leahy: How big is your farm and where is it?
Starbuck: It’s 12 acres and it’s right on the edge of the county line.
Leahy: It’s on the edge of the Davidson County line.
Starbuck: Yes. Right on the edge there. And that’s an interesting thing, too, is the district itself, and something we’ve gotten a lot of questions about is the fact that it is going to change. We’re on that 10-year mark, where they’re redistricting, and I think the district is going to end up looking different.
That’s sort of the weird thing is like you don’t know if you’re going to get drawn out of the district and if that were to happen, we kind of have to wait and see what happens.
Leahy: You currently within the limits of the Fifth Congressional District. But what you’re saying is you’re not sure in the redistricting whether or not you will be within.
Starbuck: Yes, but you can adjust them. It’s not one of those things.
Leahy: Well, I have some good news for you. I’m sure you’ve studied this. The Constitution simply requires for you to represent a congressional district in Tennessee and it requires that you are a resident of the state of Tennessee.
You don’t have to actually be a resident of the district itself. But generally, it’s considered good politically to reside within the district.
Starbuck: Absolutely. And it’s one of those things, too, where it’s smart because when redistricting happens, you can have somebody in the district and they put in all this work to run for the district, and they feel like they’re part of the district, and then they get drawn out of it.
So it’s a smart thing in that respect. But I’m excited to see what it looks like. I do think that we’re going to see a district that’s more representative of Tennessee as a whole and the values that I think most Tennessee have. And I’m excited about that because Cooper has been there way too long. 32 years now in Congress.
And one of my top questions I ask people is what has Cooper done to make your life better? How has he improved your life in any way? And I have yet to meet one person who could give me an answer to that question.
Leahy: Why will you be the best Republican candidate to defeat Jim Cooper in the November 2022 general election?
Starbuck: I think one of the real selling points is that I’ve been deeply involved in politics for a while. So having the connections that I have already to members of Congress and senators. Like yesterday, I was just endorsed by Rand Paul.
Leahy: Stop the presses! Stop the press! You just made some news. Tell us about that endorsement.
Starbuck: So we haven’t put it out yet. But we filmed it yesterday. Rand has been a big supporter of mine. And he’s given a full-throated endorsement and is very excited about our race. He’ll come down to Tennessee at some point to do some type of event with me.
Yes, that’s a big one because I think when people ask me, who are you going to be most similar to in terms of the way you approach our government or Constitution? I would say it’s Rand. Rand and Josh Hawley. That’s sort of the mold.
Leahy: Did we just break some news here? Is this the first public notice that you’ve been endorsed by Senator Rand Paul?
Starbuck: We did.
Leahy: That’s pretty big news.
Starbuck: Yes, I’m excited about that. I think it’s a real testament to where my values are. And somebody like Rand, he doesn’t do many endorsements at all. I don’t know very many that he’s done. He actually says that in the video, like that’s not something he does.
Leahy: So when is this video going to be up?
Starbuck: I think probably about a week.
Leahy: In a week. We can’t wait to see that. And when is your next event?
Starbuck: Critical Race Theory event. And it is actually coming up this following Wednesday in Franklin at the Factory. And it is with Moms of Liberty for rallying against Critical Race Theory in the Williamson County Schools.
Leahy: Is it this Saturday or next Saturday?
Starbuck: I’m sorry. It’s actually it’s Wednesday, May 19.
Leahy: Robby Starbuck, candidate for the GOP nomination for Congress in the Fifth Congressional District. Robbie, thanks for joining us. Come in the studio sometime.
Starbuck: Thank you. I will for sure. I want to.
Listen to the full third hour here:
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