Mar 21, 2022 - Politics

Legislature undecided on congressional residency requirement

Morgan Ortagus at a press conference in 2020.
Morgan Ortagus at a press conference in 2020. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

As the state legislature continues debating a residency requirement to run for Congress, it remains undecided if former President Trump's preferred candidate in the District 5 U.S. House race will be eligible to run.

Driving the news: The state Senate has already passed a bill requiring a candidate to live in Tennessee for at least three years in order to run in a primary for Congress.

  • The House passed similar legislation, but its version wouldn't take effect until after the 2022 election. The bill's sponsor, Rep. Dave Wright, R-Corryton, told House lawmakers he supported the Senate version of the bill.

Why it matters: Morgan Ortagus, who enters the race with Trump's treasured endorsement, moved to Nashville in early 2021.

  • The former state department spokesperson would be ineligible if the Senate version passes, while the House version would not affect her candidacy.
  • In a statement to Axios after the legislation was filed in February, Ortagus said she will "leave state matters to the state legislature."

What's next: The legislation is now in a sort of limbo. Each chamber still has one more chance to accept the other's version.

  • If not, the two speakers will appoint a conference committee to attempt to iron out the differences.
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