Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles enters District 5 race
Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles announced Tuesday he's running for Tennessee's 5th district congressional seat.
Why it matters: The former conservative activist enters a crowded Republican primary whose winner will have the inside track on winning the seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Nashville).
- Cooper announced earlier this year he is retiring when his term ends. His newly drawn district voted in favor of former President Trump by about 9 points in 2020.
Flashback: Ogles, who first announced his candidacy on the Dan Mandis morning show on 99.7 FM, cut his teeth as state director for the conservative activist group Americans for Prosperity.
- Ogles was also rumored to be interested in running for governor. He was elected mayor of Maury County, one of the new counties drawn into the 5th district, in 2018.
State of play: Because the 5th district is newly drawn, the race is difficult to handicap. It now spans parts of Davidson, Wilson and Williamson counties and encompasses Lewis, Marshall and Maury counties.
- Morgan Ortagus earned Trump's endorsement and has the backing of influential political adviser Ward Baker. But Ortagus is new to Nashville, and a bill being debated in the legislature could bar her from running.
- Former Speaker of the House Beth Harwell enters the race with superior name recognition and political connections.
- Businessman Baxter Lee, attorney and retired National Guard Brig. Gen. Kurt Winstead and music video producer and conservative activist Robby Starbuck are among the other contenders for the seat.
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