Sources for GOP Goes Negative

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Lt. Governor Randy McNally:

Friends in Rutherford, Bedford, Lincoln, Marshall and Moore counties,

Please remember to vote on March 13 for Shane Reeves for State Senate in District 14. Early voting is going on now thru March 8. This important election will determine whether we will keep Tennessee on the right track with low debt, low taxes, and strong economic growth or whether we turn back and squander the success we have achieved.

In my 40 plus years in Tennessee politics, I’ve seen few candidates as dangerous as Gayle Jordan. She is not just out of step with a majority of Tennessee on matters of policy. She is out of step on matters of values and faith.

In her daily work, she directs an organization called “Recovering from Religion.” Most Tennesseans, whether they are strong believers or not, recognize the strength and comfort faith provides. Gayle Jordan rejects faith as a positive force for good in the world. She believes faith is something from which people need to be rescued.

This is not the type of person we need in the Tennessee Senate.

I am urging everyone I know to strongly reject Gayle Jordan’s assault on faith and our Tennessee values. Vote for conservative businessman Shane Reeves on March 13.

Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Scott Golden:

“Gayle Jordan, darling of the Tennessee Democratic Party and their nominee for State Senate District 14, is what she herself calls a “firebrand atheist.” She isn’t simply non-religious, but actively works to lead people away from their faith. It’s her life’s work as the Executive Director of an organization called Recovering From Religion.

“Saying Gayle Jordan’s radical atheist views don’t represent the values of Tennesseans across this state or in District 14 is a gross understatement. She flat out attacks and rejects the fundamental social, moral, and religious beliefs of millions of Tennesseans. This type of extremism is being celebrated by the Tennessee Democratic Party and it is very concerning. Today I am asking if Democratic candidates for Governor, Karl Dean and Craig Fitzhugh, support Gayle Jordan and a Democratic Party that proudly espouse extreme views; candidates that shamelessly make statements such as “doing my part to destroy the fabric of America.”

“Tennesseans deserve to know if the potential Democratic nominee for Governor supports these radical views and will work to elect anti-Christian extremists to the state legislature. This is not about being a Republican or a Democrat, rather an acknowledgement that her public attacks on Christianity and outward anger towards those that believe in God are a far cry from the views of Tennessean families across this state and in District 14.”

Reeves for Tennessee Campaign Manager Matt Herriman:

Pastors & friends of Rutherford, Bedford, Marshall, Lincoln, and Moore Counties, my name is Matt Herriman and I am the Campaign Manager for Republican Candidate Shane Reeves. If you are unaware, there is currently a special election going on in TN State Senate District 14, which includes Murfreesboro, Shelbyville, Lewisburg, Fayetteville, and Lynchburg, between Shane and his democrat opponent, Gayle Jordan.

I am emailing you today regarding his opponent to make sure that you are aware of her background. She is a self-described “hippie liberal atheist activist” who is the Executive Director of an organization called, Recovering From Religion.

Friends, I grew up in West TN in a small Southern Baptist Church and have been involved in politics and the church since a young man. After graduating college, I actually spent several years in ministry before the Lord called me elsewhere. In my many years of involvement within the political process, I have yet to encounter a democratic candidate who is so blatantly opposed to Christianity. We do, after all, live in the “Bible Belt.”

This election goes far beyond politics. The very values that make our community and state so special are at stake with this candidate and election. We are asking for your help in getting your congregations, family, and friends out to vote for Shane. Early voting is going on now through Thursday, March 8 and Election Day is on Tuesday, March 13.

I have attached information on Shane’s opponent. If you’d like to learn more about Shane, please visit our website at or feel free to email or give me a call.

Justin Miller:

An Open Letter to Shane Reeves:

Mr. Reeves,

This showed up in my mailbox today. I knew it was out there, but thought you or at least the good folks at the Tennessee Republican Party would have the good sense to save money and not send it to a household where the two adult voters are strong Democrats. Fiscal responsibility, amirite? As always, however, I kept an open mind and read through it, and I’ll be darned, I think your mailer had the desired effect on me. I’m alarmed, heck, downright frightened! Perhaps you can answer some questions and ease my mind.

First question, what about you? I want to know more about your platform. Why isn’t that on this mailer? I mean, I saw your commercial during the Super Bowl. That couldn’t have been cheap. You talked about your political affiliation and your business acumen, but there wasn’t any substance. Why didn’t you send me a mailer talking about how you were going to help OUR community?

Did you know that there’s a landfill down the road that’s driving down the quality of life for hundreds who live in the area? How can you help? Your family has been here longer than mine. That can’t be ok with you, right?

Thousands of our neighbors are without healthcare because they can’t afford it. These people commonly have to choose between the simple things in life (you know, food, shelter, electricity, etc.) and the medical care necessary to just stay alive. What’s your plan? Your opponent wants to expand Medicaid as proposed by Gov. Haslam’s “Insure Tennessee” program. I’ve researched it and that seems like the best thing to do for now. What are your thoughts? Your family has made a life from the healthcare industry. Surely you have a plan. What is it and why didn’t I get that mailer?

I don’t know if you know this, but according to one source, 27% of our children in Tennessee live at or below the poverty line. Isn’t that just heartbreaking? 1 in 4 kids live in poverty. Just wow. I feel so blessed that my 5 year old isn’t part of that statistic. Being a father, I’m sure you do, too. So how do we get that statistic down to 0%? My wife heard your commercial on the radio where you dogged your opponent’s lack of faith and touted your religious convictions. You know, as Christians we’re charged with lifting up the poor (James 2:15-16), so I’d love to know your plans for helping those less fortunate than you and me. Is there another radio ad coming out with that info?

You know, some of your possible soon-to-be colleagues keep bragging about this huge surplus the state has. That’s pretty cool, right? Here’s the thing though, my friend who’s a teacher is pretty underpaid. Could she get a raise? She’s really talented and I’d hate to see her leave the state for better opportunities. What about those kids I just wrote about? Could some of that money go towards making sure they get meals while at school? What about if we moved that funding towards education so that those kids can get the education necessary to break the cycle of poverty? Surely we could do something great with that money. What are your ideas?

We’re losing neighbors due to the opioid epidemic. Research shows that legalizing medicinal marijuana could curb this growing crisis. An elected official who endorsed you just signed onto a bill that would do just that. Are you on board?

Finally, voter turnout is our State is abhorrent. We consistently rank towards the bottom. What are you doing about that? Your opponent has focused on getting folks to the polls and has done so by focusing on the issues affecting every day Tennesseans like me. Are you doing the same? I heard your campaign manager emailed local pastors, imploring them to get there congregations to the polls to vote against the atheist or as your friend, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, called her, the “dangerous candidate”. Ok, but why should they vote for you?

Mr. Reeves, I think you can see where I’m going with this. In your primary, you told voters why they shouldn’t vote for your opponent. Despite pledging to run a clean race, you sent negative mailers about Joe Carr while not divulging much about yourself or your plan for the 14th District. Now, a week before Election Day, you’re still at it. Why can’t you just run on your own laurels? Don’t you have anything to add to the conversation besides negativity towards your opponents? Were you so ill-prepared for a heavily contested race that you completely forgot to develop a platform? I’ve dabbled in politics myself and I can’t imagine how you expect folks to believe in your viability as a State Senator when you can’t even deliver a cohesive message. Surely the talented folks on your staff and the people on your impressive “host committee” saw that this would be a problem.

I truly apologize for the lengthy correspondence, but I wanted to share one last thing with you: I’ve known your opponent personally for several years and you have her all wrong. I have a feeling you know that, though. You tell folks she’s dangerous, but I know the woman who opens up her home to strangers and has raised amazing children. You purposely misquote her, but I know an eloquent woman who speaks with great compassion about those in her community who struggle. Finally, you’re all too happy to point out that she’s an atheist, but I know the woman who has always respected my beliefs and never once even thought of mocking or degrading them, much less judging me because of them.

Mr. Reeves, I’ve seen no redeeming quality in you as a candidate. I’m not saying you aren’t a good person or attacking you as a man, but your candidacy embodies all that is wrong with politics; you’re an unscrupulous politician running a win-at-all-cost campaign with no regard for your party or your family’s good name. As I said, your mailer worked. It scared me. Elected officials should put constituents before themselves. You haven’t exhibited that ability. I certainly hope that if elected, you’ll do better in office.

Statement from the Gayle Jordan Campaign:

We began this campaign with the belief that what would most matter to voters would be the very real issues of discussing solutions to the suffering of too many Tennesseans in the  opioid crisis, the possibility of hospitals closing and neighbors trying to figure out how to find health care they can afford, and offering an ear and a voice to the children and teachers waiting for someone to help champion the cause of public education. We did not believe that religious liberty was an issue on the table because our Constitution guarantees that safety to everyone.

The actions of both the Tennessee GOP, Mr. Reeves, and his campaign staff have been disappointing to witness. An attack on the religious liberty of a candidate is an attack on the religious liberty of every person in the district and sends a clear message that only one religious belief is deemed worthy. This is embarrassing to watch happen in a community that has already been attacked because of a Muslim worship center being built and by white supremacists who attempted to send a message of hate during a recent visit that quite literally shut down one town in our district. The Republican party and Mr. Reeves’ campaign have, by challenging one candidate’s religious liberty, given credence to the earlier attacks and proven their inability to abide by the Constitution.

Finally, the reason at least one candidate has chosen to run for public office is because of the genuine desire to provide a reasonable and compassionate point of view in tackling the issues people in our district deal with as a regular part of life. They are not affected by whether or not a candidate attends church or has found proof of the existence of God. People matter. Healthcare matters. Public schools matter. Providing a way for people to access the internet without having to drive to a public library matters, and none of those items have been addressed by Mr. Reeves in his effort to malign the character of his opponent.

In hopes of restoring dignity and respect to the sometimes difficult job of public service, we will finish the campaign the way we began — showing respect to the people who live in our district and are in need of help and hope as they struggle with issues much more important than one person’s struggles with religion.

Statement from the Reeves for Tennessee Campaign:

We are not highlighting the difference between atheism and christianity. We are talking about her organization and the things that she has said. For your reference, I’ve attached a short list of the quotes and blogs she has posted as recent as December. She is very extreme and would have a hard time getting elected in Massachusetts or California with these extreme and judgmental views.

We have not encountered any voters leaving the party and believe the
anonymous posters on social media are likely plants from opposing campaign. In all actuality, we believe that Democrats are coming over to our side. Most Tennessee Democrats are not radical like this. She is the outlier of all outliers but the TNDP’s out of touch leadership seems to think all of Tennessee is like East Nashville.