Robby Starbuck

Davidson County Chancellor Russell Perkins ruled late last week that the Tennessee Republican Party violated open meetings laws when it voted to remove candidate Robby Starbuck from the GOP primary in the 5th Congressional District.

The judge ruled that Starbuck’s name should be added back to the primary ballot, the Tennessee Journal reported.

The deadline to finalize ballots is later this week.

Starbuck was one of three Republican candidates removed from the primary because GOP leaders determined they were not “bona fide” Republicans. Previous legal efforts to reverse the decision have been unsuccessful.

“I hope they learned a lesson to never do this again and to allow our voters to choose our candidates,” Starbuck said in a release.

Other candidates in the primary race include former House Speaker Beth Harwell, Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles and retired National Guard brigadier general Kurt Winstead.