Nearly a week later, Rep. Ogles explains thought process on House Speaker vote

Posted at 8:03 PM, Jan 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-11 21:03:16-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — He's brand new to Washington but former Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles — now Congressman Ogles — made political headlines on day one.

Ogles joined a small group of conservative Republicans — the "Freedom Caucus" — to block Kevin McCarthy's path to become Speaker of the House. McCarthy finally crossed the last hurdle during at 15th round of voting last Friday night.

The new 5th District representative took some time to speak with me from his Washington office, where he says the chaos is finally calming.

Ogles joined about 20 other House members, who refused to vote for McCarthy until he agreed to specific rules changes. The stalemate frustrated many fellow Republicans, including other Tennessee Republicans like John Rose, who represents the neighboring 6th District.

When I spoke with Congressman Rose last week, he claimed Ogles promised to support McCarthy with no conditions. Ogles disputes that, telling me it was never about any single person. It was always about principles.

"To clear the air, you know, John and I are friends," Ogles said. "We had a conversation. We kinda sorted it out. I made it clear to him that I was having open conversations with Kevin, Speaker McCarthy, so there were no surprises there. The same thing with DesJarlais and Green. We're all friends. We're working together. They had their position, and I had mine. I respect them for theirs, and they respect me for mine as well."

Ogles said he's still getting over the sticker shock of transferring from a Middle Tennessee public office to a national one.

"Every morning when I walk into the capitol it's a bit overwhelming. You know, I'm a bit of a nerd, an economist. But I'm a big fan of our founding fathers and history and the Constitution, and every time I look at the capitol dome, it's like history has been made here. History is being made here, and to be a part of that is humbling."

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