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:

– – –

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nashville’s Fifth Congressional GOP Candidate Robby Starbuck on Growing Up and First Job Out of High School

Nashville’s Fifth Congressional GOP Candidate Robby Starbuck on Growing Up and First Job Out of High School

 

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 bringing with Cuban immigrant parents and his first job at MySpace.

Leahy: In studio, Robby Starbuck is with us. Good morning, Robby.

Starbuck: Good morning. Thank you for having me.

Leahy: We just ran up the stairs.

Starbuck: We sure did.

Scooter: You guys need a little time to catch your breath? I got some perfect music.

Leahy: Robby needs less time than I do.

Scooter: I got here specifically at this time to make sure we got our exercise. It was one of those things, you know, where you hit every red light, every single red light on the way here.

Leahy: I do that some mornings.

Scooter: It happens. But in the nick time.

Leahy: Scooter goes 30 seconds. 15 seconds!

Scooter: I’m looking over and I’m in the last element in our thing here. And I’m like, uh oh, they’re not back. This is going to get weird.

Leahy: Robby Starbuck. Robby welcome to The Tennessee Star Report.

Starbuck: Thank you for having me. I’m very excited to be here. I know that pretty much all of my neighbors are in love with this show. The where they were very excited.

Leahy: Your neighbors have very good taste.

Starbuck: They do. They’re smart people.

Leahy: This is your first time in studio.

Starbuck: It is. It is. So I’ve been on a couple of times, but this is the first time I made it here for the full show.

Leahy: It’s totally more fun to be in studio.

Starbuck: It is.

Leahy: Even if we have to race up the stairs.

Starbuck: That makes it more fun.

Leahy: So that Scooter doesn’t have dead air when he opens up the show.

Scooter: There will be something on the air. I don’t necessarily want to know me, but there will be something. (Leahy laughs)

Starbuck: Well, tell me it’s not memorable. We’ll never forget the first time I was in studio.

Leahy: We will remember that. So Robby Starbuck, you have announced that you’re running for Congress in the Fifth Congressional District. Tell our listeners a little bit about yourself.

Starbuck: So if you don’t know me already, I started out sort of making my name in Hollywood as a director, producer. I directed and produced some of the biggest stars. Oscar-winning actors, actresses.

Leahy: See that’s kind of cool, right? Making a name in Hollywood?

Starbuck: Yeah. It’s not as cool as it sounds. That was where I had to make that decision to come out as a conservative. And it was a no-brainer for me because my family came from Cuba.

Leahy: Where in Cuba is your family from?

Starbuck: Ciego de Avila? It’s kind of a rural area. It’s not by the beach.

Leahy: And when did they come out of Cuba?

Starbuck: It was in the 60s. They all came at different times. So I can give you, like, one year, because the nature of it was like, say, like my grandpa. My mom came first, but my grandpa was held for a few years.

And the State Department had to get him out. So it was all in different stages, and some of my family members never got to leave. Some of them have died in Cuba, and some of them are still stuck there.

Leahy: Now, did your father come from Cuba?

Starbuck: No. My dad didn’t come from Cuba.

Leahy: Where’s your dad from?

Starbuck: I think he was born in Oklahoma.

Leahy: So your mom came here in the 60s? Where did she live when she first came here?

Starbuck: Florida. So my family started over completely. I mean, they lost everything. Even my great-grandpa started over as a janitor working two jobs.

Leahy: So they came with nothing. They had assets in Cuba.

Starbuck: They had their home stolen, their car stolen, every possession they had. I mean, for people that don’t know the history of Cuba, I mean, they took everything at gunpoint, and that’s it. You get to come with your shirt on your back. There was a legal process for it. They follow that process.

Leahy: A legal process for stealing your property.

Starbuck: Exactly. A legal process for stealing your property and then kicking you out basically.

Leahy: That could never happen here.

Starbuck: Oh, yeah. You know what? That’s the reason why I came out because I saw that there were all these steps that my grandparents, my mom had warned me about my entire life, about how this happened. How did we get to that place?

Leahy: How old was your mom when she came here?

Starbuck: She was 17.

Leahy: In 1962.

Starbuck: It was like 60, 63, 64.

Leahy: That was after the revolution. So she was probably 13 during the revolution. 59, 60.

Starbuck: And so for them, it was one of those things where they were far enough away, where nobody had really pushed up on them. And I think this is one of the things people can kind of relate to now is if you feel like it’s not at your front doorstep yet and you see the stuff happening right now in society.

Leahy: First they came for the. Then they came for the. Then they came from you.

Starbuck: One of the biggest regrets you’ll hear from Venezuelans and Cubans is that not enough people stood up. They kept waiting, thinking it’s not going to hit my doorstep.

Leahy: And then it did.

Starbuck: And then it did.

Leahy: Venezuela. I’ve been to Venezuela before.

Starbuck: It was awful.

Leahy: It was a great, beautiful place way back. Way back in 1972, 73. I guess it was a long time ago. You weren’t even born then. (Laughs) So where did your mom and dad meet?

Starbuck: They met in California. So part of my family still lives in Florida, part in Cuba and then part in California. So my mom and her great grandparents, I’m sorry. Her grandparents, my great grandparents, and her parents moved to California to start over there because one of them had gotten a job there. She met him I want to say, is West Covina was where they met.

Leahy: Southern California. And now what did your mom and her parents do for a living in California?

Starbuck: My grandpa ended up doing insurance. Super exciting. He was in insurance sales.

Leahy: We have a lot of insurance people listening to us.

Starbuck: I was being serious. It is super exciting. I mean, the stories that he has about his time and insurance is actually some exciting about that. For instance, a lot of people don’t know there are tornadoes in California. That was something that most people have no idea about. But there are tornadoes.

Leahy: I didn’t know that.

Starbuck: And so there’s a certain amount of tornado damage every year. I always found that interesting. So he got a job in insurance.

Leahy: What did your mom do? Did she go to college?

Starbuck: She was in real estate. Was actually the first person to go to college.

Leahy: So your mom’s in real estate and your dad in a meet and West Covina? And they get married. Where did you grow up? I grew up partially in Temecula.  So my childhood is a little interesting. I graduated at 16.

Leahy: From high school.

Starbuck: So I actually left home and had simultaneously finished my first year of College in a gifted program in California.

Leahy: Are you gifted Robby?

Starbuck: Here’s what’s interesting about that program.

Leahy: We have a gifted person in here.

Starbuck: What’s really interesting about it is that the program is now being trashed in California because they say that program is a racist because there are too many Asians in the program.

Leahy: And so your mom is Cuban. And that program, from what you graduated, is now being trashed as racist.

Starbuck: It’s being trashed as racist. And another kid, let’s say, who has sort of accelerated learning and is ready to move ahead faster, won’t be able to anymore. They’re gonna be pushed back.

Leahy: They got to move it back. Dumb it down right?

Starbuck: I mean, I thought we were supposed to celebrate exceptionalism and like wanting to push ahead.

Leahy: America traditionally celebrates exceptionalism.

Starbuck: We should. We always should.

Leahy: I don’t know what this thing is we’re in right now.

Starbuck: It’s definitely not that. It’s the antithesis of it. So I left at 16 and essentially started my life.

Leahy: So let’s go back. What did your dad do for a living? He was also real estate.

Leahy: Real estate. And so you grew up in which said you grew up in?

Starbuck: Temecula was the initial place.

Leahy: And Temecula is where in Southern California?

Starbuck: It’s kind of about an hour, 15 minutes north of San Diego.

Leahy: So is it Orange County?

Starbuck: No, not Orange County. No, it’s Riverside County.

Leahy: Riverside County. A little deserty?

Starbuck: It’s bigger now. There’s an Indian casino there.

Leahy: Where was the special program?

Starbuck: It was all over the state of California so you could qualify for it.

Leahy: You graduate from high school at 16 Temecula, and you’ve got your first year of college. What happens then?

Starbuck: I went to work while doing college for a guy named Brad Greenspan. He started a site called MySpace.

Leahy: So you were working for MySpace.

Starbuck: Not only that, but he had a website called Live Video. It was the first video streaming website on the Internet. And everybody thought this was a crazy idea.

Leahy: So you were going to college where I was going at the time.

Starbuck: I ended up switching to Saddleback, which was a college where I was able to work and then go to school.

Leahy: Where did you start?

Starbuck: Saddleback, Orange County. And I was able to work there like it was my work.

Leahy: So you were in Orange County working for the MySpace folks, working for Brad. And he had a couple of different websites. So did you work just for MySpace or for other websites,

Starbuck: It was a whole company. A bunch of different things. So we produced original content, original shows.

Leahy: I mean, when you say you work for him, did you write code?

Starbuck: No, I was producing shows.

Leahy: How old are you?

Starbuck: 16. So how do you monetize all this stuff on the Internet?

Leahy: How do you connect with Brad.

Starbuck: Through a recruiter. Actually, a guy named Trent, who I’m still really good friends with today, who I flipped from being a Bernie Bro to being a Trump voter. He was my recruiter. He recruited me there.

Leahy: How did you connect with this guy?

Starbuck: He found me. Honestly, I’ve never asked him how he found me, but he found me.

Leahy: Had you done some video stuff?

Starbuck: I had done some video stuff, and I had sort of large social media already then. And I think that’s how he found me. That’d be my guess. That was my assumption.

Leahy: Was there a MySpace office or did you work out of your house?

Starbuck: There were multiple. So there was an office for E Universe, which was the parent company. And then you could work from home, work from the studio if you were shooting stuff. It was very free.

Leahy: Where was the universe located?

Starbuck: There was an office in LA. and then there was a satellite office in Orange County.

Leahy: Did you work in the satellite office?

Starbuck: I did both. It was depending on what we were doing.

Leahy: How old were you when you did this?

Starbuck: 16.

Leahy: Are you thinking, how did this happen?

Starbuck: Not really.

Leahy: Was it because you were gifted? (Laughs)

Starbuck: No. You’re never going to forget that.

Leahy: Yes. Every time we introduce you, ladies and gentlemen, the gifted Robby Starbuck. (Laughs)

Starbuck: No, no, actually, I wish they had a different word for those programs.

Leahy: I’m just teasing.

Starbuck: No, I know. It was really funny the first time I met with Brad was like, look, the weird thing for me here is like, don’t talk about your age with people because they’re gonna feel really weird answering to a 16-year-old. So you just look young. It was like this thing at work that you just didn’t talk about.

Listen to the full second hour here:

– – –

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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:

– – –

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 quincyforcongress.com. 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.