Well-known Nashville businessman and Republican donor Lee Beaman is serving as finance chairman for Grant Starrett, who’s mounting a Republican primary challenge against 4th District Congressman Scott DesJarlais, reports The Tennesseean.
Beaman already donated to Starrett’s campaign, but the campaign announced this week that Beaman would assist in an official role.
“Grant is a true conservative. And I have known him for a number of years and have a tremendous respect for his heart, his intellect and his conservative values,” Beaman said Friday in a phone interview with The Tennessean.
Owner of Beaman Automotive, Beaman also is a member of the board at conservative think tank The Beacon Center of Tennessee; a contributor in the past to conservative political action committee Americans for Prosperity; and a member of numerous leadership boards across the Greater Nashville area.
Beaman has donated to DesJarlais in the past, but he also helped state Sen. Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville, in his bid to oust DesJarlais last election cycle. Tracy lost in the GOP primary for the 4th Congressional District, an area that includes Murfreesboro and several counties in south-central Tennessee, by 38 votes.
…”If Mr. Beaman chooses to support a 27-year old trust fund kid from California who has absolutely no ties to Tennessee’s Fourth District, then that is certainly his right. I am surprised though with all the money Grant has raised from his parent’s friends in California that Grant didn’t just go ahead and name his father,” (DesJarlais spokesman Robert) Jameson said in an emailed statement.
Note: News release on the Starrett campaign “leadership team” is below.
News release from Grant Starrett campaign
(MURFREESBORO, Tenn.) – Today, Grant Starrett for Congress announced its campaign leadership team that will be managing and implementing all campaign efforts across Tennessee’s 4th Congressional District. The campaign leadership brings together a host of Republican professionals with experience winning tough fights in Tennessee and across America.
“I am pleased to bring together this all-star team to run our campaign operations,” said Grant Starrett, Republican candidate for Congress in the 4th District. “I am fully confident that we have assembled the top talent to bring our consistent conservative message to voters across the district and eventually into the halls of Congress. As I travel to every county in the district, I am more encouraged every day that we are building an unrivaled grassroots organization that will lead us to victory on election day on August 4th.”
…Mark Braden – General Consultant
Mark Braden is a longtime political operative with presidential and statewide campaign experience. A native Tennessean, Braden served U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander and U.S. Senator Bob Corker as campaign manager and as an aide to U.S. Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee.
Tommy Schultz – Campaign Manager
Tommy Schultz is a seasoned political communications operative with presidential and statewide experience. Schultz served most recently as the Communications Director for the Tennessee Federation for Children. He previously served as the Communications Director for Governor Terry Branstad’s (R-IA) historic reelection campaign and as the Victory Communications Director in New Hampshire during the Romney/Ryan campaign where WMUR-TV said “He stood out among all of the state Communications people across the country.” Schultz got his start in Tennessee politics working for the Tennessee Republican Party in 2010 and is a graduate of Stanford University.
Taylor Ferrell – Finance Consultant
Taylor Tompkins Ferrell is a native Middle Tennessean that has worked with numerous GOP candidates and conservative initiatives in the Volunteer State. She most recently served as U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander’s Deputy Finance Director and finance consultant for David Fox’s bid for Nashville Mayor. Ferrell is a graduate of the University of Tennessee – Chattanooga and is the principal of Southland Advantage.
Chris Wilson and Lisa Boothe, WPA Opinion Research – Polling
Chris Wilson, CEO and Partner of WPA Opinion Research, and Lisa Boothe, the Vice President of Political Polling and Public Affairs Research and a graduate of the University of Tennessee, will be leading the polling team. Since 1998, WPA Opinion Research has been a leading provider of political polling for campaigns from President to Governor and U.S. Senate to Mayor and City Council in all 50 states and several foreign countries. Some of WPA’s congressional clients include Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee. In the 2013-2014 election cycle, 83% of WPA clients won, compared to 62% of GOP candidates in those same states. WPA clients’ win ratio has exceeded the standard by double digits for four straight political cycles.
WPA has been nationally recognized for providing cutting edge research to help their clients win. The American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) awarded a Pollie to WPA for their Predictive Analytics and Adaptive Sampling techniques.
Larry Weitzner and Barney Keller, Jamestown Associates – Advertising
Larry Weitzner and Barney Keller work for Jamestown Associates, an award winning Republican media firm.
Since 1990, Larry Weitzner has worked as a political, strategic and public policy consultant to campaigns, businesses, political and civic organizations. He is CEO of Jamestown Associates, and specializes in television advertising, campaign strategy, direct mail and issue communications. Under his leadership, Jamestown received an award for the “Most Original TV Ad” in the country in 2014. Over the years, Weitzner and Jamestown have won nearly 50 Pollie and Reed awards for producing among the most creative and effective ad campaigns in America.
Barney Keller comes to Jamestown this cycle from the Club for Growth, where he was the Communications Director for nearly four years. During his tenure at the Club, Barney helped lead the organization’s issue advocacy campaigns and acted as their primary spokesman. He also served as a political and communications adviser to the Club’s affiliated PAC and Super-PAC. The Independent Expenditure efforts of the Super-PAC Club for Growth Action contributed to the election of several U.S. Senators including Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Tom Cotton, and Senator Ben Sasse, among others. The efforts of the Club’s PAC also helped elect House members across the country.
Lee Beaman – Finance Chairman
Lee Beaman is the chairman and CEO of Beaman Automotive Group, an award-winning dealership in Nashville. Beaman is also heavily involved in the community, serving on numerous nonprofit boards. He is the immediate past chairman of the Nashville Symphony. He also currently serves on the board of Montgomery Bell Academy, Belmont University, Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, Nashville Area Red Cross, Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art, the Salvation Army, and the Boy Scouts of America-Middle Tennessee Council.
Beaman is a former member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission State Advisory Council, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and the American Heart Association. His awards for business and community leadership include the Junior Achievement Free Enterprise Award, the National and Tennessee American Business Ethics Award, the Top 20 Employers in Tennessee, the Better Business Bureau Ambassador of the Year, and the Nashville Rotary Club Distinguished Service Certification. Beaman graduated from the University of Tennessee. He lives in Nashville with his wife and three children.