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 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











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.