Harwell’s Democratic opponent loans his campaign $50K

Chris Moth, a Democrat running against House Speaker Beth Harwell, says he has loaned his campaign $50,000. (News release, including some bashing of the Republican incubent, below.)

Campaign finance disclosures show Moth put about $20,000 into his 2014 campaign against her — a $2,000 loan and the rest in direct contributions. He had a cash-on-hand balance of $5,680 in a report filed in April. Harwell’s cash-on-hand balance at that point was $929,027 (with another $659,737 in her separate PAC account.)

News release from Chris Moth campaign:
Longtime Green Hills resident, entrepreneur, and education advocate Chris Moth today announced that he has personally loaned $50,000 to his campaign for the Tennessee House of Representatives. Moth is running as a Democrat and is seeking the seat currently occupied by Beth Harwell.

“For years, our current representative has been protecting the powerful – including a sexual predator and the most extreme elements of the majority party,” Moth said. “It’s past time our district be represented by someone who understands and will take action on problems – not someone who shirks responsibility at every opportunity.”

Moth pointed to Harwell’s refusal to support Governor Haslam’s popular Insure Tennessee plan, an action that has sent more than two billion dollars of Tennesseans’ money to other states while causing layoffs at Vanderbilt University and the closing of numerous hospitals across the state.

“Governor Haslam worked for a long time alongside federal and state officials to develop a Tennessee-built plan that would insure 200,000 working Tennesseans, protect our hospitals, and boost Nashville’s economy,” Moth noted. “Ms. Harwell spent a full year thumbing her nose at the governor before announcing her own scheme that will cost local taxpayers triple the amount of InsureTN, and she has done so simply to placate extremists. That’s not leadership. That’s cowardice. I don’t know how she can sleep at night.”

Moth also noted the ongoing scandal surrounding Rep. Jeremy Durham of Williamson County, who Harwell has refused to hold accountable for his past transgressions against interns, legislative staff, and even female colleagues.

“Our representative’s handling of the Durham affair has been unconscionable,” Moth said. “Any decent human being should know that protecting a serial abuser in a position of power simple because it’s politically convenient is absolutely disgusting.”

In addition to launching and selling his own successful software company, Moth has been active in the community and in Nashville schools for many years. He and his wife, Valerie, have children at Hillsboro High, J.T. Moore Middle School and Percy Priest Elementary.

Moth moved to Nashville in 1988 and earned master’s degrees in computer science and mathematics before earning his Ph.D. in chemistry from Vanderbilt. He founded and grew Daisy Systems, experiencing the challenges small business owners face every day, before selling his company to Teleflora, where he continues to manage and develop his software products.

Moth and his wife, Valerie, live in Green Hills with their three children, Brian (16), Ellen (11), Carolyn (7). The Moths attend Hillsboro Presbyterian Church, where Chris has served as Elder.