The candidate field in the Republican primary for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional seat has shrunk, with one candidate dropping out.

In a statement given to The Tennessee Star, Nashville businessman Quincy McKnight announced that he is dropping out of the race and is endorsing former Trump administration State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus.

After much prayer, consideration, and consultation with my close advisors, I have decided I can best serve the people of Nashville as the tenth mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. Many leaders, residents, and business owners of Nashville have told me they are excited for my decision to represent all the citizens of this great city. Because of this decision, I am officially withdrawing my candidacy for Congress effective today and will be supporting my friend, Morgan Ortagus, for Congress in Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District. Morgan embodies the Nashville culture and is an excellent representative of the diversity of the district she would serve.

McKnight went on to praise Ortagus’ dedication to family and country, as well as her service in U.S. Navy reserves.

McKnight then announced his intentions to run for mayor of Nashville.

I would like to thank all of those who have supported my journey. Whether within our city, our state, or across this great country, the support has been overwhelming and I continue to be humbled and appreciative. It is time now for us to move Nashville forward and ‘be a voice, not an echo’. My request: continue with me on this journey and support me as the next mayor of Nashville, Tennessee.

The first candidate to drop out of the TN-5 GOP primary, McKnight originally announced his run for the Tennessee 5th Congressional District in early 2021, well before redistricting occurred. McKnight raised just over $30,000 for that run. At that time, Representative Jim Cooper was planning on running for re-election but announced his retirement after the new redistricting maps were approved by the General Assembly. With his newly announced run for mayor, McKnight takes on Mayor John Cooper, trading one brother for another as an opponent.

Quincy McKnight is CEO of Covenant Pay, a company in the payments industry.

McKnight joins President Donald Trump and Representative Dan Crenshaw in endorsing Ortagus.

In addition to Morgan Ortagus, music video director Robby Starbuck, former Brig. Gen. Kurt Winstead, businessman Baxter Lee, and Natisha Brooks have publicly announced their candidacies in the GOP primary. Former Williamson County GOP chair Omar Hamada, Geni Bachelor and Annabelle Lee are reportedly collecting petitions.

Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles and former Tennessee Speaker of the House Beth Harwell have yet to make their intentions known.

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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Quincy McKnight” by Quincy McKnight. Background Photo “Nashville City Hall” by Nicolas Henderson. CC BY 2.0.