The Tennessee Republican Party released a letter to all county election offices informing them of several names removed from the Republican August primary to be held this August. One of the names is local physician assistant Johnny “J.J.” Presley.
Here is the letter from the Tennessee Republican Party in its entirety. The letter was addressed to Mark Goins, Coordinator of Elections for the State of Tennessee. Letter is dated April 9, 2020:
“Dear Mr. Goins,
This letter is to inform that the Tennessee Republican Party has decided to remove from the Republican August Primary ballot the following candidates:
Dr. Bryon Bush – candidate for U.S. Senate from Brentwood
Roy Dale Cope – candidate for U.S. Senate from Chattanooga
Terry Dicus – candidate for U.S. Senate from Savannah
Jim Elkins – candidate for U.S. Senate from Chattanooga
Johnny Presley – candidate for U.S. Senate from Crossville
Nichole Williams – candidate for 1st district U.S. Congress from Kingsport
Sandra Casey – candidate for 3rd district U.S. Congress from Oliver Springs
Basil Marceaux – candidate for 3rd district U.S. Congress from Soddy Daisy
Charles Shappley – candidate for 9th district U.S. Congress from Memphis
Scott Throckmorton – candidate for Tennessee State Senate from Collierville
IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT A COUPLE OF THESE NAMES WILL BE PLACED BACK ON THE BALLOT AFTER CONTESTING.
In accordance with TCA code 2-5-204b, all of these candidates will be notified by return receipt mail and be given the chance to appeal the Tennessee Republican Party decision to remove their names from the primary ballot. Upon appeal, each candidate will be afforded to present the necessary information to restore themselves to the primary ballot by April 16, 2020.”
The letter is signed by Scott Golden, Tennessee Republican Party.
Mr. Golden spoke with 105.7 News regarding the decision by the Tennessee Republican Party.
“Article 9 section A and B of the Tennessee Republican Party bylaws states to qualify to run as a Republican for a state seat, you have to be active in the party and have voted in the last 3 of 4 state primary elections,” said Golden. “The ones that were disqualified were challenged in regards to Article 9 and were removed from the ballot. They have a chance to contest the decision and that has to be done before the end of the business day today (Thursday, April 16, 2020).
After being informed of the decision by the Tennessee Republican Party, J.J. Presley issued the following statement on his campaign Facebook site:
“The Tennessee Republican Party is not allowing me on the ballot for the U.S. Senate Primary Election in August. With your help, my voice and my message was heard. I will continue to fight and be a voice for rural Tennesseans and bring attention to our Healthcare crisis! Thank you to everyone who supported me in this endeavor.”
Presley spoke with 105.7 News this afternoon and gave the following statement:
“The rule they used to bump me from the ballot was the voting in the last 3 of 4 elections. I have voted straight Republican for the last few years so I don’t understand the decision. Three or four months ago, Senator Paul Bailey said he would vouch for me (which would have put Presley on the ballot) and the Tennessee Republican Party turned me down. I will not contest the decision of the party. My goal now is to get the hospital in Celina open which is very soon where I can help people in need of medical care here. I want to thank everyone who supported me in the run for the U.S. Senate seat.”