Kurt Winstead and Morgan Ortagus

Kurt Winstead and Morgan Ortagus

Former congressional candidate Morgan Ortagus is advising ex-rival Kurt Winstead in his bid for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District.

Ortagus, a former U.S. State Department aide who was endorsed by former President Trump, was kicked off the Republican primary ballot after state GOP officials determined she was not a “bona fide” Republican. That effort followed a push in the state legislature to disallow newcomers like Ortagus and music video producer Robby Starbuck from participating in the 5th District primary, a free-for-all after Republicans turned the Democratic stronghold into a GOP-leaning seat and longtime Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Nashville) opted to retire.

Winstead is a retired brigadier general in the National Guard and an attorney and lobbyist. Winstead and Ortagus entered the race on the same day.

Now the disqualified Ortagus is backing Winstead as co-chair of a new national security advisory committee for the campaign, which also includes a handful of retired generals.

Also running in the Republican primary are Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles and former state House Speaker Beth Harwell, among others. State Sen. Heidi Campbell of Nashville is running in the Democratic primary.