Thomas Massie Gets an Establishment Republican Challenger in the Primaries

Republican Congressman Thomas Massie is expecting a 2020 primary challenger from Todd McMurtry, one of the lawyers representing Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann.

Sandmann was at the center of the Covington Catholic controversy, and recently settled a defamation lawsuit against CNN after he was involved in a confrontation with a native American activist in Washington D.C. last year.

McMurty told The Courier Journal on Friday, December 10, 2020, that he is challenging Massie because he believes President Donald Trump deserves more support and Massie is not providing him with enough support.

“The reason that I am in the race is to support President Trump,” McMurtry stated. “I think that’s what the people of the 4th District want out of an elected official, a congressman in Washington, and that’s what I intend to do.”

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The 2020 Republican primary Kentucky’s 4th Congressional District will be one of the most heated races which represents a battle between establishment conservatism and libertarian populism.

McMurtry is the former president of the Northern Kentucky Bar Association and has been a critic of Massie in the past. He criticized the congressman for being the lone vote against a set of U.S. sanctions on China for human rights abuses against the Uighur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region.

“I voted no tonight on the UIGHUR Act (sanctions against China) for the same reason I voted no in the Hong Kong bill two weeks ago,” Massie tweeted on December 3, 2019. “When our government meddles in the internal affairs of foreign countries, it invites those governments to meddle in our affairs.”

“Reasonable people can come to different conclusions on this vote, but before expressing righteous indignation re: my vote against these sanctions, please consider whether you committed enough to the issue that you would personally go a week without buying something made in China.”

McMurtry fiercely responded on Twitter the next day saying, “no reasonable person” could be in agreement with Massie’s point. He labeled China’s Xi Jinping a “genocidal dictator” and declared that “Massie is his best friend in Congress.”

“I would always place innocent life over cheap clothing,” McMurtry tweeted on December 4, 2019, responding to Massie. “You have no moral compass. What you said in this Tweet was one of the most callous and disgusting things I have ever read.”


Earlier this week, Massie was the lone Kentucky Republican who voted for a House resolution aimed at limiting President Donald Trump’s ability to wage war against Iran.

“If we go to war, it needs to be with the blessing and the support of the people and a clear mission that our soldiers can accomplish,” Massie said on December 9, 2020 on the House floor. “We do that by following the vision of our founding fathers — we debate it on the floor of the House.”

McMurtry criticized Massie’s vote, highlighted that he was the only Republican to “vote with Pelosi.”

“Amongst all Republicans in Washington, Thomas Massie is considered the most anti-Trump Republican, the person that votes with the president the least,” McMurtry exclaimed.

Massie is one of the most anti-establishment candidates in Congress and does not blindly tow the party line like many Republicans.

McMurtry, on the other hand, appears to be another Republican establishment type who will continue the status quo.

Conservatives in Kentucky’s 4th District would be wise to not fall for McMurtry’s smooth rhetoric.

They should stick with the real deal in Massie.

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