Mar 18, 2024 - Politics

Metro Councilmember Johnston thinking of a congressional bid in TN-5

Portrait of Courtney Johnston

Photo: Courtesy of Councilmember Courtney Johnston

Metro Councilmember Courtney Johnston is considering a Republican primary challenge to U.S. Rep. Andy Ogles, she tells Axios.

Why it matters: Johnston emerged as an influential Metro Council member since defeating incumbent Councilmember Jeremy Elrod in 2019. She has high name recognition and strong ties to business leaders and Republicans.

  • Johnston, who represents the Crieve Hall area, served on the city's pandemic recovery committee and is a leading fiscal conservative on the council.

State of play: Davidson County is now divided into three congressional districts, but none of its House representatives live in Nashville.

  • Nashville had been a reliably blue district since the Civil War, but state lawmakers redrew the House district maps and Ogles won the District 5 seat in 2022.
  • Of the three seats, District 5 has the most Democratic voters, but it's still viewed as reliably Republican.

What she's saying: Johnston is a real estate agent and entrepreneur with experience in finance, according to her council bio.

  • "The people of Middle Tennessee deserve better than Andy Ogles," Johnston tells Axios.
  • "We need a tested conservative leader who can deliver and not just talk. I am taking a very close look at the district and am talking to voters. If I run, I intend to win."

Zoom out: Former President Trump announced his support last year for Ogles' re-election bid.

  • Ogles won a crowded primary in 2022, then defeated state Sen. Heidi Campbell in the general election.

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