Constitution Party of TN names candidates; hears speech against Constitutional Convention

The Constitution Party of Tennessee met Saturday at Union University in Jackson to nominate candidates for the November general election and hear a speech from Richard Fly, a constitutional and civil litigation attorney who opposes an ongoing movement to amend the U.S. Constitution (already approved by the Tennessee Legislature).

From the Jackson Sun report:

Article V of the Constitution provides for state legislatures to apply for a convention to propose constitutional amendments. Thirty-four states must pass an application for such a convention.

If it occurred, 38 states would have to ratify any proposed amendment.

But Fry, also co-founder of Defend Not Amend and general counsel for the Patriot Coalition, said the goals and history of the movement are sinister.

“Why should we believe that amending the Constitution will make public servants uphold it?” Fry asked his audience.

Today, several organizations are urging for an Article V convention to stop government overreach and require a balanced budget.

Advocates want to propose amendments that would “limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government and force Congress to be fiscally responsible,” according to the Convention of States’ website.

(Note: The Tennessee Legislature earlier this year approved HJR548, as posted HERE, and a separate “faithful delegate” bill (SB1432) that is intended to assure that delegates to the constitutional convention must follow directions of the General Assembly. At the time, Tennessee was the 22nd state to adopt the convention call.)

…Rather than holding a primary, candidates are voted for by general members, said Jerry Pangle, 7th Congressional District director for the party.

Only those nominated Saturday may run on a Constitution Party platform.

Nominated candidates are Joe Wilmoth for U.S. Senate, Mark Rawles for U.S. House, Shaun Crowell for governor, Tim York for Tennessee Senate, Mike Warner for Tennessee House, Steve Hilton for Gibson County executive, Brad Nelson for Madison County commissioner, Brian Renfroe for Madison County commissioner and Jacob Seth York for Madison County commissioner.

Note: The candidates for state office had duly filed qualifying petitions prior to the April deadline, according to the state Division of Elections website. Wilmoth, of Baxter, is listed there as an ‘independent’ candidate for the U.S. Senate. Rawles, of Jackson; Crowell, of Spring Hill; York, of Jackson (running in state Senate District 27, now held by retiring Democratic Sen. Lowe Finney); and Warner, of Clarksville (running in House District 67, now held by Democratic Rep. Joe Pitts) are listed a Constitution party candidates.

The website listing also has an asterisk by the Constitution party label, referring readers to this note:
*Currently, there is litigation pending as to whether the Constitution and/or Green party will be listed on the November ballot. If listed, the Constitution and Green Parties will be nominating by convention/caucus method. Therefore, pending the nomination process, this candidate may or may not represent the respective minor party in November.