Eighteen individuals are now collecting petitions for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District race as of last Friday.

Twelve people are collecting qualifying petitions for the GOP primary, three are gathering petitions for the Democrat primary, and three independents are also accumulating petitions.

The 12 Republicans listed on the Tennessee Secretary of State’s website as collecting petitions are former Speaker of the Tennessee House Beth Harwell of Nashville, businessman Baxter Lee of Nashville, Robby Starbuck of Franklin (listed as Robert Starbuck Newsom), Geni Batchelor of Lebanon, Natisha Brooks of Nashville, former Williamson County GOP Chair Omar Hamada of Franklin, Timothy Bruce Lee of Nashville, Annabelle Lee of Madison, Alan Clement Sharp of Nashville, David Vitalli of Brentwood, Stewart Parks of Nashville, and Richie Lee of Nashville.

Among the publicly announced candidates, Tennessee newcomer and former State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus and retired Brig. General Kurt Winstead have not yet been listed as having begun their qualifying petitions process. Hamada has not yet made a decision as to whether or not he is officially entering the race.

Records show that Harwell, Starbuck, Brooks, Baxter Lee, Ortagus, Winstead, Batchelor, and Timothy Bruce Lee have also filed candidate paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). Starbuck has raised $255,066.53 and has $138,741.16 on hand, which Brooks has raised $24,517.00 and has $19,655.34 on hand. The rest filed their FEC paperwork after the year-end December 31, 2022 deadline. The 2022 first quarter January 1-March 31 financial reports, which are scheduled to be released in mid-April, will cover all candidates who have reached the FEC reporting threshold.

Sources tell The Star that several Republican candidates are expected to have impressive fundraising totals.

Clay Faircloth, Richard H. Harris, and Joel Michael Hurbert, all from Nashville, are listed as collecting petitions for the Democrat primary.

Derrick Brantley of Nashville, Patrick O. Halfacre of Hohenwald, and Richard A. Shannon of Franklin are the independents who are collecting petitions. Shannon has appeared on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy. Only Brantley appears to have filed documents with the FEC.

In order to appear on the ballot, candidates are required to collect 25 valid signatures from registered voters and have until noon on April 7 to turn in those qualifying petitions. Candidates who qualify have until April 14 to withdraw their names from the ballot. The Tennessee Secretary of State’s Office told The Star, unless pending legislation changes things, that they will finalize the ballots on April 21.

The 5th Congressional District consists of parts of Davidson, Williamson, and Wilson counties, and all of Maury, Marshall, and Lewis counties.

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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow Aaron on GETTR.
Photo “U.S. Capitol” by Martin Falbisoner. CC BY-SA 3.0.