Lou Ann Zelenik

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Lou Ann Zelenik (pronounced ZEL'nik) is a Tennessee businesswoman and 2010 Republican Party candidate for the U.S. Congress in Tennessee's 6th congressional district. She has one daughter, Kerri.

Early life, education and career[edit]

A graduate of the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering, Zelenik co-founded L&N Construction Co. in Murfreesboro, Tennessee in 1985, which she ran for 23 years.[1]

Political career[edit]

From 2007 to 2009, Zelenik served as Vice Chair and Chairman of the Rutherford County Republican Party. As a dedicated advocate for limited government, she organized the first Tea Party in Rutherford County.

Zelenik was a candidate in the 2008 Republican primary for the 48th District State Representative seat,[2] but was defeated by Joe Carr.[3]

After the passage of the bank bailouts and the stimulus bill, Zelenik declared that she would challenge Democratic incumbent Rep. Bart Gordon in the 2010 congressional election. With the retirement of Rep. Gordon in December 2009, her biggest competitions were expected to come from Tennessee state senators Diane Black and Jim Tracy for the Republican nomination in the primary.[4] The Cook Political Report rates Tennessee's 6th district as Likely Republican.[5] She finished second in the August 5th primary election.

Zelenik was a vociferous opponent of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro during its construction in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.[6][7] A press release from her campaign states: Let there be no mistake, Lou Ann stands with everyone who is opposed to the idea of an Islamic training center being built in our community. This "Islamic Center" is not part of a religious movement; it is a political movement designed to fracture the moral and political foundation of Middle Tennessee... Until the American Muslim community find it in their hearts to separate themselves from their evil, radical counterparts, to condemn those who want to destroy our civilization and will fight against them, we are not obligated to open our society to any of them.[8] However, on July 18, 2012, in response to a federal lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, U.S. District Judge Todd Campbell ordered that the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro must be allowed to open in time for the Islamic holy month.[9]

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