Tag Archives: District 45

More on Maggart Vs. the NRA (and Courtney Rogers)

WPLN takes a look at the House District 45 contest where the National Rifle Association’s attack on Rep. Debra Maggart has made the House Republican Caucus Chairman the poster child (on billboards at least) for incumbent legislators facing challengers in next week’s primaries.
The tension could be seen at this year’s Statesmen’s Dinner – the Tennessee GOP’s annual fundraiser. Everyone at this soiree supposedly plays on the same team, but the NRA has made the family get-together a little uncomfortable this year.
“Take a picture, quick,” Maggart said, upon being caught in a hallway with the NRA’s Cox.
While the two exchanged pleasantries, Cox is making an example of Maggart so other Republicans think twice before stepping out of line with the gun lobby. The NRA had spent $75,000 at the end of June, with more activity since then. The unrelated Tennessee Firearms Association chipped in at least $10,000 to defeat Maggart.
These are unheard of totals for state legislative races, but Cox calls the independent expenditures appropriate.
“It’s our First Amendment right to assemble to petition our government,” Cox said in an interview. “That’s what we’re doing.”
Rep. Maggart calls the NRA’s campaign “bullying” and a stunt to raise more money.
“You know they’ve got to have a reason to collect your dues,” she says. “They’ve got to have a reason for people to send them a check.”
Maggart – herself a member – has been sending the NRA checks for years and contends she’s about as big a gun gal as she could be. She hosts a skeet shoot fundraiser. She has her carry permit. And she’s a regular at the range.
But at Guns and Leather, a store in Hendersonville with an indoor shooting range, what’s in the window may say it all – signs for Maggart’s opponent, political newcomer Courtney Rogers.
Rogers, a retired Air Force officer, says she’s even surprised at some of the NRA’s tactics, like plastering Rep. Maggart’s face on billboards with President Obama.
“I didn’t even know what to say,” she says. “I just looked up at it and said, “[Maggart] is not going to like that.”
Still, Rogers welcomes the NRA in her corner. And the outside spending may be paying off.
Campaigning door to door, Rogers has been getting a warm reception from gun owners like Jim Fitzgerald. He calls Maggart “wishy-washy” on the weapons issue.


Note: The Tennessean also revisits the subject today.
But there are signs the NRA is turning off voters too.
“Debra Maggart is a lifetime NRA member as I am as a lot of all of us are,” says Bill Taylor, a dentist in Hendersonville. “We may drop our membership because of that.”

Rogers’ 2005 Bankruptcy Resurfaces in House District 45

Courtney Rogers and her husband filed for bankruptcy in 2005, reports Andrea Zelinski, after an oil distributorship brought before the 9/11 attacks failed.
And even though it stemmed from the failure of her husband’s company, Rogers is being sucked back into that difficult chapter in their lives now that she’s running for state political office. Rogers is waging a dark horse campaign to unseat one of the House’s leading Republicans, GOP Caucus Leader Debra Maggart, of Hendersonville.
Michael Rogers’ company — BSR Petroleum Distributors Inc. — consumed $55,000 of the Rogers family’s savings as profit margins shrunk following the terrorist attacks, forcing the pair to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Rogers and her campaign said.
“There was nothing we could do. We fought it off for a few years, we emptied our savings. But the margins never came back,” said Rogers.
Rogers and her husband filed for bankruptcy in March of 2005, according to court records. The couple listed liabilities of more than $930,000, with most of those debts, nearly $730,000, tied to his company. Their legal obligation to pay their debt was gone three months later, and their assets were liquidated.
“I don’t know that we’d do anything different because no one could foresee that,” she said of her husband buying Pulaski-based Chiles Oil Inc., and launching their business six months before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The revelation of Rogers’ bankruptcy is the newest twist in the Aug. 2 primary race for District 45 in Sumner County between the two conservative Republicans. A handful of interest groups are flooding Rogers with support in an effort to unseat the politically powerful Maggart as payback for leading the charge against issues they hold dear, including the National Rifle Association, which so far has plugged more than $75,000 into the race.
Rogers has not filed a disclosure of the bankruptcy with the state Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance.
It’s unclear whether she is in violation of election law, which requires candidates running for election to fill out paperwork listing “any adjudication of bankruptcy or discharge received in any United States district court within five years of the date of this report.” Omitting information could result in a fine up to $10,000.

Maggart May Have GOP Primary Opposition

Retired Lt. Col. Courtney Rogers of Goodlettsville picked up her petition Friday to seek the Republican Primary nomination for House District 45. The seat is currently held by Rep. Debra Maggart who has filed her petition for the Aug. 2 state primary, reports the Gallatin News.
Rogers lived in HD45 even before the recent legislative redistricting. The newly drawn district lines add the rest of Goodlettsville in Sumner County and then swings up the western side of the county through Millersville and White House. The newly added areas are totally untested turf for Maggart who has not had a primary challenge since winning a seven-way open-seat Republican primary in 2004, according to election results at the Secretary of State’s Office.
“I did pick up a petition for State Representative of the 45th District,” Rogers confirmed Sunday. “I want to offer people a choice. Right now I am trying to qualify and I am trying to build a team. It’s early in the process.” Rogers spoke of the importance of unity and restoring values.
Rogers retired in 2008 after 28 years of active Air Force and Air National Guard duty. Her father, Ralph Marion Dryden Jr, served as a helicopter pilot of Marine 1 for three presidents, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson. Marine Major Dryden was killed in action in the Republic of Vietnam 28 July 1968 at the height of the war’s worst fighting following the Tet Offensive that led President Johnson to decide not to seek reelection.