Full Statement Made By Mark Pulliam Regarding The Nullification Of His Write-in Race
From Mark Pulliam:
"As a lifelong Republican, with decades of grassroots experience, I was very disappointed that the current State Executive Committee of the Tennessee Republican Party saw fit to overturn the results of the August 4 election and deny me a seat on the SEC as the Committeeman for District 2. I strongly disagree with the grounds asserted for this decision. By refusing to recognize the election results, the SEC disenfranchised more than 300 District 2 voters who cast write-in votes for me in accordance with Tennessee law. While I acknowledge that the Tennessee Republican Party has the legal authority to regulate GOP primary elections, nullifying an election after the fact—when the results have already been certified by the Tennessee Secretary of State--is a drastic measure that should be taken only under extraordinary circumstances. My write-in election--for an unpaid, volunteer position that no one else wanted—is not such a circumstance, and the grounds for doing so were dubious at best. The unprecedented ruling of the SEC creates poor optics for the Republican brand. How can the party that stands for “election integrity” be willing to negate the results of a lawful election, after the fact? The disheartening message to grassroots activists in the Volunteer State is “You are not welcome here.” The TRP exists for the benefit of Republican voters and activists, not vice versa.
I understand now that a successful write-in election to the TN GOP SEC is a historical anomaly that was not contemplated by the TRP bylaws. I did not realize this when I undertook my write-in campaign, and only learned of the TRP’s objections after the election was over. The solution, going forward, is to clarify the TRP bylaws, not to negate an election that met the requirements of Tennessee law.
In the course of last night’s discussion, many SEC members who voted against my election explained that they felt compelled to do so in order to maintain consistency with the pre-election disqualification of other candidates on similar grounds. This is a valid consideration, although I question whether those candidates presented a factual profile comparable to mine. Some members also expressed the hope that the TRP will appoint me to the “vacant” position in District 2 when the newly-elected SEC is sworn in. I decided to run as a write-in candidate to give District 2 voters a voice on the SEC. Appointing me to fill the “vacant” position in District 2 would demonstrate the sincerity of the objections expressed last night. I would be willing to consider an appointment if it were offered to me. The District 2 Republicans who voted for me deserve no less."