Davidson County GOP Chair Jim Garrett Weighs in on Metro Nashville Public Schools Mask Mandate Pushback and 2022 Election Year

Davidson County GOP Chair Jim Garrett Weighs in on Metro Nashville Public Schools Mask Mandate Pushback and 2022 Election Year

 

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. –  guest host Ben Cunningham welcomed GOP chair for Davidson County Jim Garrett to the newsmaker line to discuss why they are pushing back now on Metro Nashville Public Schools’ attempt to mask mandate students again and how 2022 will be an interesting election year for the Fifth Congressional District of Davidson County.

Cunningham: Jim Garrett is the chair of the Davidson County Republican Party. Jim is on the line with us this morning. Jim, good morning.

Garrett: Good morning. Good morning, Ben. Good morning, Andy, and good morning, Grant. How are you?

Cunningham: We are doing great. Thanks so much for calling in this early. I’m telling you, it puts a new perspective on the world when you get up at 4:00 am in the morning. Actually, I got up at 3:15, so that really was a new perspective.

But thanks so much for calling in this morning, Jim. You guys have just sent a letter to the Metropolitan Nashville School system as the Republican Party of Davidson County. What did you say?

Garrett: We felt it was time that we stand up against this rhetoric that we hear coming from the left. Basically, we outlined that we were against masks and we would encourage the school system not to enforce a mask mandate. And we gave them five or six factual reasons to support our argument there.

I think the left that uses emotion, we like to use fact. And we use factual reasons and studies. And there are so many conflicting studies, you don’t know who to believe. And I think that’s by design on their part to keep us all confused so that their rhetoric seems to be dominant. And it should not be.

Cunningham: Why now? Why at the end of July, first of August – of course, school is about to start. But what motivated you to do this?

Garrett: We had heard several of our members had seen a petition that went out by a group. And I won’t say a left party. But it went out by a group associated with them calling for the schools to reinstitute the mask mandates.

And because of that petition, and they’re advertising in The Tennessean, and they had 1,800 signatures. Because of that, we felt it was important for us to say something.

Henry: Jim, Grant, Henry, here with Americans for Prosperity. Have ya’ll received any kind of response yet? Good, bad, or otherwise to this letter you sent out?

Garrett: I am not aware of any response yet. The people who are monitoring this with us, our communications people told me that there’s not been any feedback. And I personally have not received any. Although I did, again, a call last week from a lady who was a school teacher.

And she kept talking about the Republican Party was so vile in her school by her students and how she didn’t introduce politics to the school. But yet she only let them listen and watch PBS and CNN television shows.

Cunningham: (Laughs) Oh, boy, that’s objectivity. Isn’t it? I’m telling you, it’s crazy. Well, thank you so much for stepping out. And even in a blue county like Davidson County, the Republican votes represent 40 percent plus of the electorate. So they should listen and they should respond, and they should give you some kind of feedback back on this thing.

Garrett: I think the Republicans, our members feel like if we don’t stay in that often, we probably don’t. Conservatives tend to be individualists. We let the individual make the decision like we think parents should be making the decision about masking in schools and not the school board. But they think we don’t say enough. And our executive committee felt it was time on this subject to stand up and shout out our opposition to it.

Henry: Jim, let me ask here as well. Yesterday, Speaker Cameron Sexton was quoted saying the following: “And I sure hope that a school system in this state after this data is released does not shut their schools. If they do, I’m going to ask the governor for legislation to allow these parents in those school districts to take their money through school choice and go to wherever they deem they need to go.”

Is that kind of message resonating with any of the state Republicans in Davidson County?

Garrett: I believe it is. Yes. We believe in the voucher system. It’s been battered back and forth in the General Assembly. I hear it from our members who – some who would like that and some who wouldn’t.

But I do hear it. And so I think we’re supporting that stance. I heard that yesterday and was surprised that he came out with a statement about what he did.

Cunningham: Jim, on another topic, just politics that we’re interested in and I’m sure the audience is interested in is you’re keeping up very closely with the redistricting process. Every 10 years when they do a new census, they have to come out and redraw the political districts.

And, of course, a lot of people are very interested in Davidson County, in the Fifth Congressional District, and what’s going to happen there and how the districts might be drawn. Give us just a quick timeline of how one of the major decision points in the future for that. And when will we know what the new districts will look like?

Garrett: We have talked with Senator Jack Johnson. We’ve talked with Representative Lambert. Members of our group have talked with them about that same question. They tell us now is the time to get involved.

We have a meeting next week with Speaker Sexton to discuss redistricting specifically. And there’ll be another subject in their meeting with Speaker Sexton. But primarily the meeting is about redistricting. We are working on a map of where the Republican voters are in Davidson County, and we’ll have some ideas about what we would like to see.

We don’t need a major change. We just like to have some districts tweaked a little bit to pick up five or six points. And if we get a fair chance, I think we can pick up seats. But we don’t need a slam dunk in say a half a dozen districts or so. But we need some help here in Davidson County.

Cunningham: It is the enclave of Democrats that stay there year after year. I don’t know how long Jim Cooper has been there. Of course, Jim’s got a challenger from the left also this time, a pretty strong challenge. I think AOC has endorsed his challenger. So lots of things going on.

He’s got to worry about the challenger from the left first. But hopefully, we can have a competitive district where Republicans can have a shot. At least running a good, solid campaign and presenting a great alternative.

Garrett: I think Cooper’s been there – I’ve heard – 32 years, and he’s run basically unopposed for most of those, unfortunately. But yes, this year he seems to have a good shot at it. I would actually like to see Kelly win the primary for Starbuck because I think she would be a better opponent to run against than Cooper is.

She is so socialist and so much to the left, I think she would make a good opposite candidate. 2022 is going to be an interesting year. We have got two or three candidates right now that have announced running for that seat. There are going to be more that show up.

I’m sure that there’s one or two more. I’ve talked with them and they’re still in the decision process. So I think 2022 is going to be an interesting year for the U.S. Congress seat here in Davidson County.

Cunningham: And how do people get in touch with the Davidson County Republican Party?

Garrett: They can always get us through the gopnashville.org website. And there are buttons here for volunteering for contributing. But if you go to the volunteer button and put your name in, there is a place where you can ask questions. We get questions through there all the time.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOP Candidate for Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional District Robby Starbuck on Rand Paul Endorsement and Why He’s Running

GOP Candidate for Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional District Robby Starbuck on Rand Paul Endorsement and Why He’s Running

 

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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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