GOP Candidate for Nashville’s Fifth Congressional District, Robby Starbuck Explains His Top Legislative Priorities

GOP Candidate for Nashville’s Fifth Congressional District, Robby Starbuck Explains His Top Legislative Priorities


Live from Music Row Tuesday 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 in studio to discuss his top two priorities if elected to Congress in 2022.

Leahy: In the studio with us, Republican congressional candidate Robby Starbuck, running for the Republican nomination in the Fifth Congressional District. We asked you this question before the break, Robby. If elected to Congress and sworn in January of 2023, what would be your number one legislative priority?

Starbuck: I’ve written two already that would be immediately put forward. Number one would be banned Critical Race Theory, not just in public schools, but also if you want a government grant, you want a government contract, you cannot train your employees with Critical Race Theory, and you cannot impose it on anybody within your business.

Leahy: Now that is a very good idea, number one. And what you’re combining, it’s interesting, the way you’ve structured. It’s not just banning the teaching of Critical Race Theory.

But what you’ve done there is you have incorporated in the legislative proposal Donald Trump’s executive order that banned federal funding for contractors that taught critical race, of course, the legal but not legitimate occupant of one those hundred Pennsylvania Avenue to Biden. One of the first things he did was to reverse that executive order.

Starbuck: And every other executive order.

Leahy: That particular idea, I think, is very, very interesting. And so that would be the bill that you would introduce.

Starbuck: That I would introduce right away.

Leahy: That would be your number one priority.

Starbuck: It’s essential to freedom. Education helps define what our national identity is. And so if we’re educating our kids to hate our country, then guess what? In 20 years, our national identity is going to be hating our country.

Leahy: By the way, that’s what public schools are doing right now.

Starbuck: 100 percent.

Leahy: They’re teaching kids to hate America, and your tax dollars are paying for it.

Starbuck: And we’re the adults and it’s our job to step in and stop it. And so that’s why that would be the first thing. The second thing would be a very simple immigration bill that says if you come here illegally, you will never, ever be allowed to become a citizen of the United States, and you will never be entitled to benefits.

Obviously very small caveats to that. If you’re being hunted down by your government or something along those lines, then maybe we have a different path.

Leahy: Well, there’s existing law for allows for asylum,

Starbuck: For true asylum. But there’s a process.

Starbuck: Exactly. There has to be a process. Merit-based. But our big problem with immigration is we’ve changed everything from incentivizing legal behavior to incentivizing illegal behavior.

When you have the Democratic candidates, now the person occupying the White House saying, we’re going to give you free health care, free this free that free everything. And then they act shocked when you have the borders getting flooded on a daily basis.

Obviously, they’re not shocked. They knew what that was going to do. We have to incentivize legal behavior again, which means saying, hey, if you ever want to be in America legally, you need to do this the right way, because if you do it one time the wrong way, you’re not going to be able to ever become a citizen here.

That will change the migration patterns right away. I’m not saying it’ll stop it, but it will change that pattern.

Leahy: Let’s talk a little bit about how successful such legislation would be. Now in the current makeup of Congress, where the Democrats have a nine or 10 vote margin and Nancy Pelosi is Speaker of the House, such legislation would go nowhere. She wouldn’t even bring it forward.

Starbuck: She wouldn’t bring it forward or allow it to be.

Leahy: If Republicans maintain a majority, that legislation would have a chance. What do you think the odds are that the Republicans will win back the House of Representatives in November 2022?

Starbuck: We are going to win back the House in 2022. The Senate, I’m not making any promises, but the House I feel 1000 percent that we are going to take the House in 2022.

The energy on that level and just the wind is in our sails in many ways in terms of redistricting happening. And you saw a bunch of blue states lose districts as part of the census consuming New York. And people have fled their States.

Leahy: California lost one district.

Starbuck: And New York lost one or two. I don’t remember if it was one or two. I’d say it was I think seven states that lost seats were blue states and they went almost entirely red.

Leahy: We kept the nine congressional districts, but probably were right on the edge of adding a 10th.

Starbuck: Yeah, we right on the edge. And I would guess that in 10 years we’ll add another one.

Leahy: I think you’re probably right about that. Now, our listeners looking at this could say, you know, if a Republican won the fifth congressional district in November 2022 that would be a plus one for Republicans and increase the likelihood that Republicans win a majority of the House. And I think your argument would be…you can do it, right?

Starbuck: Absolutely. I’m a different candidate than we’ve ever had in this district before. And where has it gotten us running the same people from the same schools with the same backgrounds? We haven’t won this district.

It hasn’t done any good for the people here. We have to think outside the box. I’m an outside-the-box candidate. I’m fully, fully cognizant of that. But I can win this. We can flip Independents.

We can take a message in about freedom, especially after COVID. And with the background my family had fleeing Cuba and Marxism to be able to say, did you enjoy this free trial over the last year and a half of Marxism and socialism?

Leahy: We had a 15 month free trial of Marxism.

Starbuck: You got a free trial and I think a lot of people are ready to make the return. And you saw how the Coopers treated you like they were Kings and you were just their pawns that had to do whatever they told you to do. That’s not what America was founded on. We’re supposed to be free.

Leahy: First, would you engage in a debate if I don’t know, The Tennessee Star were to host it between you and any other candidates who are seeking the Republican nomination?

Starbuck: Absolutely. I will always debate people.

Leahy: Okay. So if we had one in-studio here at five in the morning and or six in the morning, we could do a two-hour debate from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Starbuck: Absolutely. I’ll just pray for them beforehand.

Leahy: We’ve got enough room in the studio. We will start identifying other candidates and we’ll start putting that out here. We might even, like, do it on a monthly basis.

I’ll have you in here from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and all the Republican candidates, and we’ll just have a nice conversation. And then after the August 2022 primary, we’ll invite the incumbent, Jim Cooper.

Starbuck: I’m not so sure Jim is going to be the person in a general election.

Leahy: Now, that’s interesting because he does have an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes type challenger.

Starbuck: He does. AOC backed a socialist to run against him. And if we’re being perfectly honest, the energy on the left in Nashville is the Progressives. It’s not the Blue Dog Democrats.

Blue Dog Democrats are being pushed out of their party. So who is his constituency? Especially after the last year and a half. The far left and the groups that have all this grassroots energy on the ground, they’re going to be backing AOC’s candidate.

They raised $100,000 in a week, which is, you know, they’re going to make him spend money. They’re going to make him spend a good deal of money if he decides to run. I think after redistricting it’s not a foregone conclusion that he even doesn’t retire.

Leahy: He did kick off his reelection campaign.

Starbuck: He could always quit.

Leahy: He also has had some personal problems with his wife who passed away.

Starbuck: I was very sorry to hear that.

Leahy: And again, our condolences to Representative Cooper about that, and we criticize his policies.

Starbuck: But he’s a human being. It’s terrible. I can’t imagine losing that person you love the most.

Leahy: Now the challenger on the left is Odessa Kelly. She did play ball for Tennessee State University. But she’s worked for the city government most of her career. That’s her main accomplishment.

Starbuck: And she would like a bigger government.

Leahy: And she’s not Jim Cooper. That’s her other accomplishment.

Starbuck: You know what? On that one, I will say that’s gonna help her out. I don’t understand how anybody can work in the government and then at the end of it, go, you know what’s going to fix things? More government.

Leahy: Well, that’s how they think. Whoever wins, whether it’s Odessa Kelly or Jim Cooper, or whoever their Democratic nominee is, we will invite them to a debate with the Republican nominee. Will you attend?

Starbuck: Oh, I definitely will. I think the question is, will they attend?

Leahy: I don’t think they’ll attend because they don’t believe in a free exchange of ideas, because their ideas are so very bad.

Starbuck: Absolutely.

Listen to the third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Robby Starbuck” by Robby Starbuck. 








Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional (R) Candidate Quincy McKnight Talks About His Background, Priorities, and Path to Victory

Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional (R) Candidate Quincy McKnight Talks About His Background, Priorities, and Path to Victory


Live from Music Row Wednesday 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 Republican candidate for Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional District Quincy McKnight to the newsmakers line to talk about why he’s running for Congress, his qualifications, and top priorities if elected.

Leahy: We are joined now on our newsmaker line by Quincy McKnight, who is running for the Republican nomination for Congress in the Fifth Congressional District here in Tennessee. It’s mostly Davidson County on the web at Good morning, Quincy.

McKnight: Good morning, Michael. How are you?

Leahy: I’m great. Well, tell us about who you are and why you’re running for Congress.

McKnight: So thanks. Well, pretty much. I am Quincy McNight. I am born and raised right here in the good old state of Tennessee. I’ve seen Middle Tennessee grow from a little dot on the map to where it’s at now. And so I am a father. I am a business owner here in town. So it’s just like one of those things, Michael, where you just get sick and tired of being sick and tired and you just kind of get up and do something about it instead of talking about it.

I want to be about the solution. So that’s why I’m running. And plus, on top of that, Michael, I was raised in a Conservative lifestyle and I believe in the Constitution. So with me believing in the Constitution and wanting it carried out, I believe in civil liberties. So to me, it’s natural for me to do this. It’s like I’ve been told by a lot of my constituents and a lot of my friends that the stars are aligned. So it’s my time.

Leahy: So tell us a little bit about your business career, Quincy.

McKnight: Sure. I’ve been in the merchant processing industry for years in the financial services sector for 20 years now. And we own a company here in Brentwood called Covenant Pay Partners. And we process corporations’ payments, and we’re responsible for executing the funds from settlement from A to B within various banks. So I have seen the different avenues of what it takes to run a business and from the failures to the successes of it. So we’ve had wonderful opportunities.

Leahy: So tell us about your path to victory here. I was talking earlier that you’re running for the Republican nomination. First, you got to win that.

McKnight: Right.

Leahy: Whoever wins the Republican nomination, how are they going to win in this Fifth Congressional District, where typically it’s like 65 to 35 for the Democrat. Jim Cooper has been around for a long time. And the closest anybody’s gotten is in 2010 when David Hall lost 57 to 43. What’s the path to victory for a Republican in the Fifth Congressional District here in Davidson County?

McKnight: That is a wonderful question. And we were just talking about that this last evening. We have to have a person that’s going to be involved in the community, that’s been involved in the community. We’re going to have to have a person that understands the issues with the culturalism that’s going on.

That’s how our communities are being affected right now, especially in the core of Tennessee, which is Nashville. And I know the outskirts of the district in Cheatham and Dickson are included in that. But right now to win at this rate, you have to know the people they have to know you especially as Nashville is Democratically led, most have to understand that the Black vote is very important and the Hispanic vote is very important.

And these big issues right now that are affecting both of those communities are, quite frankly, being overlooked. And people are not listening to them. Being born and raised from here and that is the answer to my calling. And I am involved with a lot of these business owners, not just from a day-to-day perspective, but listening to their community needs and their issues and their families. And especially with a lot of the new and undocumented people that are coming into our country. It’s a big conversation that’s going on right now in the minority community.

Leahy: If you were to secure the nomination, and if you were to win in November 2022, and you were sworn in in January of 2023 in the 118th Congress, and let’s say that the Republicans have a majority there, what would be your number one priority as a newly elected member of Congress from the Fifth Congressional District in Tennessee?

McKnight: My number one is to protect the Constitution (Chuckles) at all costs. Period. And we all know what those issues are. Where I’m at right now is I see a lot of our constitutional rights almost kind of being ignored and overlooked. So I have a very strong backbone and I don’t mind saying what needs to be said. And quite frankly, you say what needs to be said because it’s truth. So where I’m at with that is protecting the Constitution at all costs.

Leahy: What legislation would you sponsor as a newly elected member of the House of Representatives, if you were to win in January of 2023 that would protect the Constitution?

McKnight: Sure. Well, number one would be abortion because I am pro-life. People that know me and know my story of where I come from understand that being pro-life is something I’m extremely passionate about just because of what I come from. Protecting those rights of why I am pro-life is what I want to be my first priority because right now in the Black communities, for example, Planned Parenthood is placing these places inside of all minority communities. You don’t see them in other types of communities. I think it’s affecting, especially the Black community here in Nashville wholeheartedly. And those are some of the things I want to start protecting.

Leahy: So what specific legislation then, would be your number one priority to address that issue?

McKnight: Well, we’re going to have to start sitting down with our partners on the other side of that. And we have to start coming up with solutions that can prevent these types of things from happening. I do not agree how some of our legislation has handled things like this in the past, because one of the problems that we, as Republicans have not done a good job of is listening. We do not listen well. And so what I want to do is be able to listen to some of those issues to provide the correct solutions, especially when it comes to pro-life, and listen to the needs of those in the community that have been affected by this.

Leahy: Let’s shift gears to the practicality of the Republican nomination. What’s your path to victory to win the Republican nomination here?

McKnight: Since December Mike, we have been on our grassroots campaign. We’ve been having forums. We’ve been talking in public. We’ve been in people’s living rooms, which people have opened their doors to, where we can have open conversations so I can understand their concerns in the district here.

I’ll talk with business leaders that are heavily concerned within the district between Cheatham County and Dickson County and right here, as close as downtown on Music Row. So with the business owners opening their doors, we’ve been talking with them every day. Our campaign team is growing at a pace which is almost unheard of just because everybody’s so fired up and they want to see change. And that’s what I am going to be able to offer.

Listen to the full second hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Quincy McKnight” by Quincy McKnight.





California Refugee and Direct Marketing Expert Craig Huey Weighs in on Davidson County’s Congressional Election Strategies

California Refugee and Direct Marketing Expert Craig Huey Weighs in on Davidson County’s Congressional Election Strategies


Live from Music Row Tuesday 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 creator of the Huey Report and direct mail expert, Craig Huey, in-studio to discuss possible campaign tactics that Odessa Kelly may use in the fight for Davidson County’s congressional seat.

Leahy: Our guest in studio, our good friend Craig Huey. So let’s talk about this congressional election in Davidson County. There is a primary challenge. Odessa Kelly, I guess the Justice Democrats are trying to make her the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of Nashville. Jim Cooper, I want to look at Jim Cooper’s electoral history.

He’s a Harvard grad. He’s about in his mid-sixties. He’s represented this district in Congress since 2002. He won in 2002. He beat Robert Duvall, who has been the chairman of the Davidson County GOP, 63.33 percent. In 2004 he had 69 percent. In 2006 he had 69 percent, 65 percent in 2008. In 2010, his closest challenge ever in the general election. That was the Tea Party year.

Huey: That was.

Leahy: He got 57 percent to David Halls 32 percent. Okay, so that tells you something right there. In all of these cases, the Republican was far outspent. Now, what’s interesting if you look at Cooper’s vulnerability in the primary last time, Keeda Haynes challenged him and lost 57 percent to 40 percent in the primary. Now, Keeda was underfinanced compared to him.

And I think she had sort of an unusual background. I think she had several run-ins with the law as a younger person, became a public defender. I think that’s the case. We’ll double-check on that. So now she has not been selected by the Justice Democrats to run. So they picked Odessa Kelly. We think she is likely to get quite a lot of money from around the country. And we think she’s got a good chance of beating them in the primary.

Huey: I think she can because she knows how to organize and mobilize. And that’s the key. I’m hoping a really great candidate steps forward to run against Cooper or against Odessa Kelly whoever wins that race.

Huey: On the Republican side.

Leahy: On the Republican side. And you’ve got some suggestions for how they could win. Now, remember, I would think that an underfinanced Republican, the high watermark, lost 57-42 in the general.

Huey: Yes.

Leahy: But you think it’s possible that either running against Jim Cooper or Odessa Kelly in the general of 2022, a Republican could win if a, they start now and b they start thinking in terms of digital marketing. Tell us what would work.

Huey: Sure. So, Michael, 2022 is going to be a great year because you have people upset and angry about what’s happening in Washington, and they want to change it. And just like with the Tea Party, I think this will be a Tea Party on steroids, the reaction. And the key to this is that the candidate running understands they have to raise the money. If they don’t have the money, they have to raise the money. They can’t run just because they have better ideas.

Leahy: What! Let me just stop for a moment. A lot of our friends think I’ve got the answer. A lot of our conservatives. A lot of our Tea Party friends.

Huey: I see it all the time.

Leahy: I’ve got the answers. I’ll just go out and say those answers, and people will realize just how correct my answers are.

Huey: It doesn’t work.

Leahy: It doesn’t work?

Huey: It does not work. You’ve got to communicate and you have to mobilize.

Leahy: Now I’m disappointed. (Chuckles)

Huey: Oh, I’m sorry, but it’s the reality. But here’s the good part, Michael. Even in a Democratic district that has that advanced registration and a built-in Democratic vote, a Republican challenger can come in there and upset that election in 2022. But they have to be able to raise the money.

Leahy: How much money are we talking?

Huey: I would try to raise about four million.

Leahy: Four million? Have you ever run for Congress?

Huey: I have.

Leahy: Back in 2012? Was it 2012?

Huey: 2011 in a special election. And I ran in a district, that was 22 percent higher percentage of Democrats. And I shocked everybody with no name recognition. I ran against the mayor of the largest city. I ran against the California Secretary of state. I ran against the most powerful county of Los Angeles, a City of Los Angeles City Councilperson. I beat these people in the primary, which shocked the nation.

Leahy: So you won the primary?

Huey: I won the primary. I shouldn’t have. I won the primary.

Leahy: Yes, you should of. (Huey chuckles) Because you use your marketing techniques.

Huey: Yes, I’ll tell you about that. So, Michael, what happened then was that Obama brought in his Organizing for America and used my campaign as his test campaign of using data and digital marketing to tie it to get out the vote. And so I saw what was happening and he was out-marketing me. And it was unbelievable what he had developed.

I needed to switch 2,000 votes, and I would have won that race. I was outspent eight to one. And I could have won it. But here’s what needs to be done and what my opponent in that race and what Odessa will be doing. They will be marketing by developing data. They will have petitions. They will have petitions to parents about schools. They will have petitions about better roads.

They will have petitions about some issue in Washington, D.C. identifying their voters. They will create digital ads where once somebody signs a petition or goes to our website, the ad will follow them around wherever they go, whether they’re on Facebook or Google. And so there will be a campaign to be able to market and build that database.

Leahy: Why are they building the database?

Huey: They’re building it so that they can then communicate with those people that they have on the database to get them to the poll. It’s get out the vote. They make sure that they have identified enough voters to overwhelm Cooper. And that’s what she’s going to do. And not only that, she’s going to use techniques like geo-fencing. She’s going to geo-fence every church. Anybody who goes to a church on Sunday, she collects the data to send them a video or a Facebook ad. That’s just one of the techniques. And are the Republicans going to do this?

Leahy: So let’s step back. First, you need a candidate. Second, he needs to raise he or she needs to raise four million dollars. Okay, then what do they need to do then? This is for the Republican to win the general election against either Jim Cooper or Odessa Kelly.

Huey: I recommend they don’t hire a Republican consultant. (Laughs)

Leahy: Now, first, you said something very important. I think that’s good. And why should they not hire Republican consultants?

Huey: Because they’re marketing as if it was 20 years ago.

Leahy: They’re doing TV ads.

Huey: They waste money on TV ads. They don’t understand how to get out the vote or even training. Michael, what Odessa will do is she’ll have somebody coming to the door saying, hey, I see on this petition, you believe in better education. Well, so does Odessa. Now, I want to make sure that you go to the poll on Tuesday. Can I drive you to the poll? Oh, I can’t drive you to the poll? Well, maybe what I can do is come back. I’ll come back after Tuesday. I’ll knock on your door, and I’ll say, how did it go at the poll? It increases turnout by 10 percent. These are the tactics that these people use and we have to use too.

Leahy: Well they are clever. And, by the way, Odessa Kelly, we’re just telling the world your campaign strategy here based on experience. You’re welcome to come in and tell us if we’ve got it wrong. (Huey chuckles)

Listen to the third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio