News release from Rep. Andy Holt
DRESDEN, Tenn., June 28, 2016– Last Saturday, Tennessee State Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden) hosted the first Holt’s HogFest & Turkey Shoot at his family farm in the rural town of Dresden in West Tennessee. The event garnered world-wide attention as Holt ‘stuck to his guns’ in his plan to give away two AR15s and drew attendees from all across the State of Tennessee.
“It was an incredible evening. At one point, we had more than 50 people waiting in line to register. We had folks coming from as far east as Johnson City and all the way west from Memphis,” said Holt. “We raised more than $16,000, not a single person was injured, and there were probably more firearms there than there were people. It was a fantastic celebration of the 2nd Amendment, God, and country.”
The event was open carry and was attended by most of the top-tier candidates running for U.S. Congress in Tennessee’s 8th District which includes Holt’s State House district. Congressional candidates Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and Dr. George Flinn were scheduled to attend, but did not show, although Flinn did send a representative from his campaign to speak on his behalf.
“I was really happy to have Senator Brian Kelsey, Tom Leatherwood, David Kustoff, Brad Greer, Hunter Baker and many other candidates at the event,” said Holt. “Rural West Tennesseans want to ensure we elect someone that knows we are here and will be our voice in Washington, so it was a big deal for attendees to see the candidates prioritize this event and be present. It will go a long way. It’s funny, but my wife Ellie and I always say that in rural towns, people may not remember you showed up, but they certainly will remember if you don’t show up to local festivals and parades. It’s something we take pretty seriously, and I believe that our straw poll results reflect that.”
With 25.5% of the vote, Tennessee State Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown), won the HogFest & Turkey Shoot Congressional Straw Poll. Tom Leatherwood was close behind with 22.5% and Brad Greer came in third at 13.5%.
“I’m honored to have won the straw poll,” said Sen. Brian Kelsey. “My message of proven conservatism is catching on throughout West Tennessee. Voters want a Congressman they can trust to protect the 2nd Amendment, life and our West Tennessee economy, and that’s what I’ve done in the State Senate.”
Holt says he is already preparing for next year’s event.
UPDATE/Note: The Tennessee Democratic Party issued this statement to media after Holt’s release:
“Rep. Andy Holt did what he said he would do and gave away two AR-15 assault rifles. Disturbingly, his report from the event was purely about politics and the 6 congressional candidates, including State Senator Brian Kelsey, who attended. It said nothing about the safe transfer of the guns to their new owners or if steps were taken to ensure that they went to responsible folks.”
“This is another example of Tennessee Republicans being concerned only with media stunts regardless of how reckless or irresponsible their behavior. Responsible gun owners make sure that guns are safely and securely stored to prevent access by children or irresponsible adults. Responsible gun owners don’t turn the seriousness of gun ownership into a media circus.”
And here are the straw poll results, as provided by Holt: