Trouble in Paradise? (Part 17)

Blount County Conservative Activist Mark Pulliam Is Running for Chair of the Blount County Republican Party

Thanks to the Tennessee Conservative for the endorsement (here)! And thank to the Tennessee Star Report (here)!

Mark Pulliam, a Blount County resident whose August 2022 write-in election to the Tennessee Republican Party State Executive Committee, District 2, was nullified by the SEC despite being certified by the Tennessee Secretary of State (as reported by the Tennessee Conservative News on September 8, 2022 with the headline “GOP Leadership Disenfranchises Blount, Polk County Voters In ‘Childish Display’”), has declared his candidacy for Chair of the Blount County Republican Party at its reorganization meeting scheduled for April 4, 2023 at the Louisville Town Hall. Details are at

Pulliam, whose write-in candidacy for the SEC was endorsed by the Tennessee Conservative, is a retired lawyer who now blogs at Misrule of Law. A prolific writer, his essays appear in a variety of publications, including the Tennessee Conservative News.  The controversial nullification of his election was criticized by conservative organizations including Tennessee Stands. Despite the TRP’s flimsy basis for the nullification, Secretary of State Tre Hargett declined to intervene, deeming the matter an “intra-party dispute” within the sole purview of the Tennessee Republican Party.  The SEC, at the instigation of TRP Chair Scott Golden,  risibly determined that Pulliam, a lifelong Republican who has voted in every election since 1976 and has never voted for a Democrat in a contested partisan election, was not a “bona fide Republican,” a conclusion that Pulliam mocked in an essay for the Tennessee Conservative News.  

Pulliam, who has previously held leadership positions at the local and state levels with the Republican Party in California and Texas, formed an independent group, Blount County Conservative Coalition, and maintains a Facebook page (Blount County Conservative Sentinel) with over 1600 followers. He has appeared on Fox & Friends, Life, Liberty, and Levin, the Tennessee Star Report, and many podcasts and radio shows. His writings have been published in The Federalist, National Review, American Greatness, the American Conservative, Chronicles, the Wall Street Journal, and many other publications.

Ironically, Pulliam’s opponent in the race to be Chair of the Blount County Republican Party is likely to be Cindy Gaba Hatcher, an SEC Committeewoman who voted to nullify Pulliam’s write-in election and thereby to cancel the ballots of 300 Blount County Republicans. Pulliam’s platform is set forth in a post on his blog, “RINOs and the Establishment”: “In a county that voted for President Trump by over a 40-point margin (71%-27%), the GOP should hold every elected office and every appointed position.  Our elected officials should embrace the GOP platform and be accountable if they do not.”

The Blount County reorganization meeting will not be a “mass convention,” as presumptively required by the TRP bylaws. Instead, by special exception granted by TRP Chair Scott Golden, Blount County’s reorganization meeting will be preceded by “precinct conventions,” a disfavored process that limits participation and allows the incumbent officers to manipulate the selection of delegates to favor insiders. At the last reorganization meeting, in 2021, Blount County insiders invited the notorious establishment henchman Ted Boyatt to serve on the credentials committee, even though he was not even a resident of Blount County! Pulliam encourages all Blount County conservatives to attend their precinct conventions and seek to be delegates to the April 4 reorganization meeting.

  • "Mark Pulliam is the real deal conservative and Tennessee, particularly East Tennessee, is fortunate he chose to settle there."
    Joanne Bregman
    Nashville attorney and activist
  • “Mark Pulliam is one of the few truly fearless, devastatingly incisive, original and yet deeply learned commentators on the contemporary legal scene.  His new blog is a welcome addition and a splendid and provocative resource.”
    Professor Stephen B. Presser
    Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History Emeritus, Northwestern University School of Law
  • “Mark Pulliam is the Walt Longmire of legal conservatism. You don't want to be on the wrong end of his pen. His commentary on law, politics, and policy is not to be missed.”
    Richard Reinsch II
    Director of Law and Liberty, Liberty Fund, Inc.
  • “Mark's blistering criticism of the foibles of the lawyering class and crackpot judges is a worthy penance for a recovering attorney. And it is our gain.”
    Michael Thompson
    Shareholder, Wright & Greenhill, P.C.
  • “Maybe this man’s degree is written in crayon."
  • "Mark Pulliam fancies himself a Paul Revere of the right."
    Froma Harrop
    Syndicated columnist
  • “With the flourish of a pen, Mark Pulliam makes bad guys rhetorically bleed and weak guys physically cringe. It's awesome.”
    Michael Quinn Sullivan
    President & CEO, Empower Texans
  • "Mark Pulliam, writer and thinker extraordinaire, has a new blog. Make sure to visit and register. Mark Pulliam's new blog is a thing of wit and intelligence."
    Bradley J. Birzer
    Professor of History, Hillsdale College, President of the American Ideas Institute, and editor at large of The Imaginative Conservative
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