Tennessee Republican Party

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Tennessee Republican Party
ChairpersonScott Golden
Governor of TennesseeBill Lee
Senate LeaderLt. Gov. Randy McNally
House LeaderSpeaker Cameron Sexton
Headquarters95 White Bridge Road, Suite 414
Nashville, Tennessee 37205
National affiliationRepublican Party
Colors  Red (unofficial)
United States Senate delegation
2 / 2
United States House of Representatives delegation
8 / 9
Seats in the Tennessee State Senate
27 / 33
Seats in the Tennessee House of Representatives
75 / 99

The Tennessee Republican Party (TRP or TNGOP) is the affiliate of the United States Republican Party in Tennessee. Since the mid-1960s, the state has become increasingly Republican. The current chairman of the Republican Party of Tennessee is Scott Golden. It is currently the dominant party in the state, controlling the majority of Tennessee's U.S. House seats, both U.S. Senate seats, both houses of the state legislature, and the governorship.


Upon its entry into the Union in 1796 Tennessee was strongly Democratic-Republican. Tennessee became a two-party system for more than 20 years during the Jacksonian era. The Democratic Party was formed by Jackson followers and this party was dominant against the rival Whig Party led by Henry Clay. But in 1835, there was a turn in power of party and a Whig governor was elected. Tennessee after the American Civil War was part of the Democratic South for about a century. East Tennessee however remained strongly Republican. Even though the state was predominantly Democratic, two different presidential elections won the state of Tennessee in 1920 and 1928. In the 1960s and 1970s Republicans made a push into the Democratic power when in 1966, Howard Baker was elected US senator. Then again Republicans made another push, when Winfield Dunn was elected governor, the first Republican Governor in over 50 years.[1]

Republicans rarely held seats in the U.S. House from the South during the Solid South period with the party only holding two seats in Tennessee between 1947 and 1952, out of the 105 seats in the south. [2] Republicans won 80 of 2,565 congressional elections in the south during the first half of the 20th century. 50 of these victories were in eastern Tennessee.[3]

Leadership and staff[edit]

The Tennessee Republican Party has had five chairmen since 2005. On December 11, 2004, the State Executive Committee unanimously elected Bob Davis[4] as Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party to serve for the calendar years 2005 and 2006. He was subsequently elected to a second two-year term, 2007 and 2008, but resigned from the chairmanship in August 2007 to become Senior Adviser to presidential candidate Fred Thompson. The party's State Executive Committee then chose Robin Smith,[5] former chairman of the Hamilton County Republican Party and vice chairman of the Tennessee GOP under Davis, to complete Davis's two-year term.

Republicans won a victory in Tennessee's 2008 elections, when the party won majorities in both houses of the Tennessee General Assembly for the first time since the Reconstruction Era election of 1868. Smith was unanimously re-elected at the end of 2008 to a full two-year term as chairman for calendar years 2009 and 2010. In April 2009, Smith announced her resignation in order to run for Congress in Tennessee's 3rd congressional district in the August 2010 Republican primary.[6]


The Chairman of the Republican Party of Tennessee is Scott Golden, who was elected on December 3, 2016.[7] Tyler Burns serves as the Political Director and Mandy Devaney as the Communications Director.

Current elected officials[edit]

The Tennessee Republican Party controls the governor's office and a majority in the Tennessee Senate and the Tennessee House of Representatives. Republicans hold both of the state's U.S. Senate seats and 8 of the state's 9 U.S. House seats.

Members of Congress[edit]

U.S. Senate[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Statewide offices[edit]

Governor Bill Lee

Legislative leadership[edit]

Tennessee state senate[edit]

Tennessee state house[edit]

Current structure[edit]

Here is the structure of the party as of December 2011[8]

Elected officers of the state committee[edit]

  • State Chairman
  • Vice-chairman
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Vice-Treasurer
  • National Committeewoman
  • National Committeeman
  • General Counsel

State executive committee[edit]

The state executive committee (SEC) operates as the governing body for the state party. They establish rules and measures that best promote the success of the Republican Party and broadening of its base. The SEC serves as the TRP's state primary board and establishes to guide and direct County Republican Parties. One man and one woman are elected from each state senate district.[9]

  • 33 districts
  • 66 total representatives of the TRP
  • 33 are male
  • 33 are female

Notable Tennessee Republicans[edit]

Controversial comment[edit]

In 2008, the Tennessee Republican Party issued a press release that featured a photo of Senator Obama dressed in traditional Kenya clothing that the TN GOP called "Muslim attire" and used Obama's middle name "Hussein." Both Senator John McCain and State Democratic Chairman Gray Sasser decried the press release.[10][11]


  • In July 2009 state senator Paul Stanley resigned after being caught in a sexual relationship with a 22-year-old intern. Paul Stanley was known for running for family values.[12] Stanley resigned because he wanted to focus more on his family and better that since his indiscretions. He was quoted saying "And just because I fell far short of what God's standard was for me and my wife, doesn't mean that that standard is reduced in the least bit."[13]
  • Keith Westmoreland a Republican Tennessee State Representative was arrested on 7 felony counts of lewd and exposing himself to girls under the age 16. He committed suicide before he could be prosecuted.[14]
  • Operation Tennessee Waltz was a statewide bribery sting, where 3 Democratic Senators and 1 Republican Representative were either convicted or pleaded guilty. 8 other people also either pleaded guilty or were convicted.[15]

Past elections[edit]

In 2008 the Republican won a historic victory, when the party won majorities in both houses of the Tennessee General Assembly for the first time since the reconstruction era election of 1868.[16]

Presidential elections[edit]

Like other Southern states, before 1960s Tennessee was a solid state of the Democratic Party. Since 1972 the Republican Party has won Tennessee in 7 out of 11 elections. It won Tennessee only except 1976, 1992 and 1996.

Past Republican governors[edit]


Former Chairmen[edit]


  1. ^ [1],History of Tennessee Politics.
  2. ^ Moreland, Steed & Baker 1991, p. 201.
  3. ^ Black & Black 2002, p. 59.
  4. ^ "Bob Davis, Jr". RDJ Group.
  5. ^ "Robin Smith". RobinForTennessee.
  6. ^ Sher, Andy (May 16, 2009). "Tennessee GOP chief Smith to resign, study 3rd District race". Chattanooga Times Free Press.
  7. ^ "Scott Golden elected new Tennessee GOP chairman". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2018-02-15.
  8. ^ [2], Current Structure.
  9. ^ [3], SEC.
  10. ^ Humphrey, Tom (February 27, 2008). "Tenn. GOP stands by "Anti-Semites for Obama" piece". Knoxville News Sentinel. Archived from the original on 2008-03-12. Retrieved 2009-05-23.
  11. ^ Sher, Andy (January 20, 2009). "Tennessee: Democrats say Obama will be fair to state". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
  12. ^ [4], Immorality of Tennessee state senator.
  13. ^ [5], Paul Stanley,
  14. ^ [6], Immorality of Tennessee state Representative.
  15. ^ [7], Operation Tennessee Waltz.
  16. ^ [8], Historic state election.
  17. ^ Bill Haslam, State of Tennessee House Joint Resolution No. 248, April 21, 2011
  18. ^ Locker, Rick (July 24, 2008). "GOP chair won't say whether Rove ordered media ban". Knoxville News Sentinel. Retrieved 2009-01-03.
  19. ^ Sher, Andy (May 16, 2009). "Tennessee GOP chief Smith to resign, study 3rd District race". Chattanooga Times Free Press.
  20. ^ "GOP elects Devaney state party chairman". WAAY-TV. Associated Press. May 30, 2009.

Works cited[edit]

External links[edit]