Saturday, January 29, 2022

Trump endorses Morgan Ortagus for the 5th Congressional District, upsetting Trump loyalist supporting Robbie Starbuck.

Morgan Ortagus
by Rod Williams, 1-28-2022- Trump has weighed in on the race for the Republican nominee for the newly redrawn Fifth Congressional District and picked a preferred candidate. Trump on Tuesday endorsed Morgan Ortagus. She served as a State Department spokesperson during his administration. 

This has upset some of Trump's most loyal supporters.  The most loyal of Trump supporters appear to be coalescing around the candidacy of Robby Starbuck. Starbuck is of Cuban-American heritage, is a recent California immigrant, and works in the music business. He started his campaign months ago before the 5th Congressional lines were redrawn when a Republican running against long-time incumbent Democrat Congressman Jim Cooper would have been a suicide mission. Starbuck has been appearing anywhere for months where any two or three Republicans would gather.  He has been spotted at First Tuesday, the Davidson County Conservative groups joint Christmas party, Jack Johnson's big annual barbeque, and various other events.  He has been the featured speaker at a Moms for Liberty event and other events.

In addition to picking up local support, Starbuck has also picked up national support, picked up the endorsement of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn,  conservative activist Candace Owens, nut-job conspiracy theorist Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, and other endorsements. He has also made national news, having made appearances on Fox News.

It is not a surprise to any knowledgeable political observer that if the 5th Congressional District was redrawn to favor a Republican, that new names would emerge as potential candidates.  In addition to Robbie Starbuck and Morgan Ortagus, other potential candidates include Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles, former Speaker of the House Beth Harwell, and retired Tennessee National Guard Brigadier General Kurt Winstead (link).  I expect other names to be floated or candidates to announce in coming days. 

The Trump announcement of his support for Ortagus has caused consternation among some local Trump supporters, or at least I have been told. Politico says it is a "firestorm," but the evidence for that seems to be more national than local. So far, Facebook and Twitter have not been set ablaze with chatter about this, but it is still early and word may just now be getting out. Trump's most loyal supporters are loath to criticize Trump no matter what he says or does, so they may not know how to respond.  They may be waiting to see which way the wind blows.

I am not that informed about Morgan Ortegas, I think few are at this point. One of the criticisms of Ortagus from Trump supporters, but not from Trump, is that in 2016 she was a supporter of Jeb Bush in the GOP primaries. Another criticism is that her wedding was officiated by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I do not really know where she stands on the issues.  She is a former contributor to Fox News. 

For more on this topic see link, link, link, and link

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