Andy Ogles
Official portrait, 2022
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 5th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2023
Preceded byJim Cooper
Mayor of Maury County
In office
September 1, 2018 – August 30, 2022
Preceded byCharlie Norman
Succeeded bySheila Butt
Personal details
William Andrew Ogles IV

(1971-06-18) June 18, 1971 (age 52)
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Monica Ogles
(m. 1994)
EducationWestern Kentucky University
Middle Tennessee State University (BS)
WebsiteHouse website

William Andrew Ogles IV (born June 18, 1971) is an American politician and businessman who has served as the U.S. representative for Tennessee's 5th congressional district since 2023. A member of the Republican Party, he served as the mayor of Maury County, Tennessee, from 2018 to 2022.

Ogles has worked as a conservative activist, serving as the executive director of the Laffer Center, a think tank supportive of fiscal conservatism and the free market, and the Tennessee chapter of Americans for Prosperity.

Ogles has taken strongly conservative positions and been described by media as on the far-right of the political spectrum.[1] He opposes abortion and same-sex marriage. During the attempts to overturn the 2020 United States presidential election, Ogles falsely claimed that it was stolen, and was one of the original 19 congressmen to vote against Kevin McCarthy for Speaker of the House. Ogles later voted for McCarthy after he was satisfied with concessions McCarthy had made.

Various claims Ogles has made about his education, career, political fundraising, and personal life have been disputed.

Early life and education

Ogles was born on June 18, 1971. He describes himself as "a Maury County native with deep family roots in Tennessee dating back to the founding of the state."[2] Ogles graduated from Franklin High School and later attended Western Kentucky University and Columbia State Community College from 1990 to 1993, studying allied language arts and English.[3]

Ogles later studied at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), where he failed every course taken in the fall of 1995 and the fall of 1998; he returned to the university in 2007 and graduated with a 2.4 grade point average, with a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies.[3][4] The Washington Post described Liberal Studies as "a general education degree typically for those who cannot settle on a major"; NewsChannel 5 gave a similar description.[4][5] Ogles said in late February 2023 that his failed university courses were due to "an interfamilial matter" that led him to abandon his studies "to financially support my family during a difficult time"; and that he eventually completed his studies with online courses.[6][7]

Disputed education details

After Ogles became a congressman in 2023, his congressional biography claimed that he received his degree from MTSU, "where he studied policy and economics."[3][4][8] Ogles' claim was questioned by NewsChannel 5 in February 2023, which published an investigatory report detailing that in a 2009 resume and also in a background check of unspecified date, Ogles claimed to have an MTSU degree in international relations, with minors in psychology and English.[3] NewsChannel 5 additionally reported that MTSU declined to confirm Ogles' degree, referencing a federal law allowing students (like Ogles) the ability to block the release of academic records.[3] Ogles later spoke to WWTN radio, calling for everyone to "lock down your transcripts ... so you're not a victim of identity theft."[4] In other comments to WTTN made on February 21, 2023, Ogles said that he does not remember "saying I had an economics degree … because I've been quite clear that I studied political science and international relations", while maintaining that he studied political science from "the economic perspective".[9]

On February 26, Ogles said that he was "mistaken" in claiming to have an MTSU degree in international relations, and claimed that he requested his college transcript the week before, and only learned then that his degree was actually in Liberal Studies.[4][6][10] NewsChannel 5 called Ogles's statement "apparently preemptive" because Ogles "ignored our requests for comment" after the media outlet obtained his MTSU transcript from an old job application.[4] On February 27, NewsChannel 5 published Ogles's transcript, which showed that Ogles took only one economics course at a community college, scoring a C pass, while he passed nine (and failed several other) political science courses at MTSU.[4] By February 28, Ogles's congressional biography was edited to simply state: "Andy obtained his degree from MTSU."[6]

Business and early political career

Ogles has worked as a restaurant operator and a real estate investor. His involvement in politics began when he became the first director of the Tennessee chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political advocacy group. He later became involved with the Laffer Center, an organization that advocates for fiscally conservative tax policy.[11] He has also been a Club for Growth Foundation fellow.[12]

Ogles made two unsuccessful bids for elected office, a run for the state's 4th district in 2002 and for Tennessee Senate in 2006, losing in the Republican primary both times.[13][14]

In September 2017, Ogles announced he would challenge incumbent U.S. Senator Bob Corker, whom he believed was insufficiently conservative, in the following year's primary. Two months later, Corker announced that he would retire instead of seeking the 2018 nomination. That led incumbent U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn, the eventual winner, and former representative Stephen Fincher to announce they would seek the seat, and as their campaigns were likely to be well-funded, Ogles announced shortly afterward that he would withdraw.[15]

Disputed career claims

Ogles has repeatedly made public claims of being an "economist."[16][17] After NewsChannel 5 questioned how much formal training in economics Ogles had, he said he was an economist because when "you look at the body of someone's work ... I've spent the last decade working on economic policy and tax policy. "[3][9] During that time, Ogles had worked for roughly five years as an anti-tax lobbyist with Americans for Prosperity, and then for a year as the executive director of the Laffer Center, an organisation run by economist Arthur Laffer.[9] The executive director position seemed to involve mainly "administrative" work, reported NewsChannel 5, with Ogles not being named as an author of any economic reports uploaded on the Laffer Center's website.[3][9] Ogles' congressional website claims that "while working at the Laffer Center, Andy became a nationally recognized expert on tax policy and healthcare, having been featured in numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal and Investor's Business Daily".[3] NewsChannel 5 questioned this claim, being unable to find any articles in the publications independently citing him as an expert, only finding three columns written by Ogles in these publications, all of which were written when he was a lobbyist, before he worked for the Laffer Center.[3]

At a political debate, Ogles called himself "a former member of law enforcement, worked in international sex crimes, specifically child trafficking", while at a separate forum, he said: "I went into law enforcement. I worked in human trafficking."[3][7] NewsChannel 5 reported that Ogles was a volunteer reserve deputy with the Williamson County Sheriff's Office from 2009 to 2011, with his position revoked for failing to meet minimum standards, failing to progress in field training, and failing to attend required meetings.[3] The Williamson County Sheriff's Office said that records do not show Ogles trained or worked against international sex trafficking as a reserve deputy.[3] In 2011, Ogles worked as a chief operating officer for Abolition International, a non-profit organisation which described its work as giving grants to "holistic ministries".[3] Ogles indicated that since his stint at Abolition International overlapped his stint as a reserve deputy, "Maybe I created some of the confusion or maybe it was someone looking to write a story".[10] While Ogles claimed he was "heavily involved in the fight against human trafficking", NewsChannel 5 reported that Abolition International's tax records showed that Ogles worked in a part-time position that paid him $4,000 in total.[3] Ogles' congressional website originally claimed that Ogles was "overseeing operations and investments in 12 countries" for Abolition International; but NewsChannel 5 disputed that number as too large; the website later amended its claim to overseeing operations and investments in "several countries."[5][6][8]

County mayoralty

Initially considered a potential contender in the 2018 Tennessee gubernatorial election, Ogles instead saw his major first electoral success when he was elected mayor of Maury County in the August 2, 2018, general election, defeating incumbent Charlie Norman.[18][19]

During his mayoralty, Ogles criticized Tennessee Governor Bill Lee for not restricting local school boards' ability to implement mask mandates in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, calling for the state legislature to pass legislation to support his proposition in a special session.[20] He supported a sales tax increase that passed in 2020.[21][22]

Ogles initially filed to run for a second term as county mayor but withdrew to enter the race for the redrawn U.S. House of Representatives seat in Tennessee's 5th congressional district.[23] After he had announced his candidacy for Congress, a month before the Republican primary, he vetoed that year's county budget, along with the school and library budgets, over a 31-cent property tax hike (the first in six years) and what he considered the library's exposure of young children to inappropriate "woke" material. The county commission complained it had not been aware of any concerns Ogles had had over the budget, noting that he rarely attended meetings and had taken no part in the budget process. Ogles said that since he could not vote at the meetings it was not necessary for him to attend them and that he kept up by watching them online.[24] Two weeks later the county commission overrode the veto, citing Maury's status as the fastest-growing county in the state. Some commissioners and citizens commenting at that meeting accused Ogles of having vetoed the budget largely to bolster his credentials as a fiscal conservative in the upcoming primary; it was noted that his absence from that particular meeting might have been because it conflicted with a campaign event.[25]

U.S. House of Representatives



Further information: 2022 United States House of Representatives elections in Tennessee § District 5


Ogles seemed to some observers to have gotten off to a strong start in the primary, announcing that he had raised nearly half a million dollars in the campaign's first month. But when his disclosure report was actually filed, a week after the deadline, it showed that he had raised only $264,400, although he did have over $500,000 in total receipts. He explained that he had not counted a $320,000 personal loan to the campaign.[21]

Among the many candidates, two stood out as serious challengers: former state House Speaker Beth Harwell, and retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Kurt Winstead. Ads by the Tennessee Conservatives Political Action Committee (TCPAC) called Ogles a "D.C. insider" and lobbyist who had failed to pay his property taxes nine times while supporting the sales tax hike and a marriage tax, as well as failing to vigorously oppose Maury County's recent property tax hike. Records showed that Ogles had indeed been from a few days to almost a year late paying taxes on his Franklin home between 2005 and 2015, leading to interest charges. He filed a defamation suit against TCPAC. Ogles, in turn, was supported by super PACs that ran ads attacking Harwell and Winstead as "too liberal for Tennessee."[21]

On August 4, Ogles won the primary.[26][27]


Ogles faced Democratic nominee Heidi Campbell in the November general election. The district was previously a Democratic stronghold centered on Nashville, but has been redrawn as an area that voted for Republican Donald Trump by 12 percentage points in the 2020 presidential election.[28] This was done by splitting Democratic-heavy Nashville into three congressional districts.[28] When the new district boundaries were announced, the Democratic incumbent decided to retire, calling the new district "unwinnable" for a Democrat.[26]

On August 30, Ogles was succeeded as county mayor by Sheila Butt, a former member of the Tennessee House of Representatives.[29] Ogles was endorsed by the House Freedom Caucus, the House Republican Conference's farthest-right bloc.[11]

During the election, Ogles avoided the major local media in favor of conservative local talk radio and posted very little on social media. Early in the campaign, he made some appearances with a flamethrower, saying he would use it on President Joe Biden's work when he got to Washington.[27] A late October appearance with Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz in Franklin was announced in his first campaign-related Twitter post since he won the Republican primary. He declined all invitations to debate, drawing criticism from McCarthy.[30]

Ogles was slightly outraised and outspent.[26] He raised almost $1 million for his campaign, including the loan, and spent $573,000. In contrast, Campbell raised over $1 million, none of it in loans, and spent $679,000, largely on television ads.[27]

The election was complicated by local officials inadvertently sending 1,000 voters ballots with the wrong congressional or state legislative district elections on them, due to a mistake made with Davidson County's geographic information system database. A lawsuit the Tennessee League of Women Voters chapter brought against the state that could have delayed voting in the county was settled at the last minute. As a result, 438 voters who had already cast the wrong ballot were allowed to vote on provisional ballots that were only to be counted if the final margin was narrower than that number.[27]

Ogles won the general election in November with 56% of the vote to Campbell's 42%, becoming the first Republican to represent the state's 5th district since the 19th century[26] and leaving Nashville without any Democratic representatives in Congress for the first time in modern history.[27]


On January 1, 2023, Ogles signed a letter by fellow representatives Scott Perry and Chip Roy expressing opposition to fellow Republican Kevin McCarthy in the upcoming house speakership election after McCarthy did not accept all their proposed House rules changes.[31] On January 3, his first day in office, Ogles joined far-right House Republicans in voting against McCarthy on the first three ballots.[32] This was the first time since 1923 that a speaker was not elected on the first ballot.[33] On January 6, after days of negotiations, Ogles voted for McCarthy on the 12th ballot, joining the rest of Tennessee's Republican delegation.[34] He explained in a statement that this was because he believed negotiations between McCarthy and the other holdouts were going well.[35]

Shortly after being sworn in, Ogles was appointed to the House Financial Services Committee.[36]

The first bill Ogles introduced, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2023, would repeal the previous year's Inflation Reduction Act. In his State of the Union speech, Biden mentioned the bill without mentioning Ogles's name, which Ogles took credit for in a subsequent tweet.[37]

After the March 2023 Covenant School shooting in his district, Ogles released a statement that read in part: "My family and I are devastated by the tragedy that took place at The Covenant School in Nashville this morning. We are sending our thoughts and prayers to the families of those lost. As a father of three, I am utterly heartbroken by this senseless act of violence."[38] Subsequently, photos re-circulated of Ogles's 2021 Christmas card, featuring a photo of him and his family posing with assault rifles.[39]

Ogles is part of the Freedom Caucus.[40]

Political positions

Media sources have characterized Ogles's political views as conservative[41][42] or far-right.[43][44]

Ogles opposes abortion and same-sex marriage.[45] In a 2022 interview, he downplayed the need for exceptions in an abortion bill, calling them "red herrings".[46] In June 2022, after the repeal of Roe v. Wade, Ogles said, "The next thing we have to do is go after gay marriage."[47]

Ogles has called for the impeachment of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, and for treason charges to be brought against Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.[28] He has called for the United States Department of Education to be defunded.[48]

Ogles denies the legitimacy of the 2020 United States presidential election.[49]

Ogles supports school choice, term limits, deregulating health care, and lower taxes. He opposes earmarks.[12]

Ogles was among the 71 Republicans who voted against final passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 in the House.[50]

Personal life

Ogles lives on a farm in Culleoka, Tennessee with his wife, Monica, and their three children.[2]

Child burial garden controversy

In 2014, Ogles and his wife had a stillborn child, Lincoln, whose photograph Ogles has used in social media posts. Ogles set up a GoFundMe to finance a child burial garden in Lincoln's memory, which was to contain a "life-size statue of Jesus watching over the children, benches for families to sit while surrounded by flowers in the special garden" that was to be "a place for Lincoln's new play friends as they wait in Heaven to their families".[51] Nearly $25,000 was raised, and GoFundMe confirmed that Ogles received the money.[51] In 2023, a director of Williamson Memorial Funeral Home told NewsChannel 5 that eight years earlier she had planned to meet Ogles's family to "help organize a unified effort to aid parents dealing with the financial and emotional trauma of burying children", but that they "never came back to us".[51] The manager of the cemetery hosting Lincoln told NewsChannel 5 that he had met Ogles and proposed that Ogles buy several plots of land at the cemetery, but the manager did not know what became of the money.[51] At least one donor demanded their money back and received a refund.[51]

In 2015, Ogles told The Tennessean that "burials are heavily regulated", and that the $23,575 he had raised on GoFundMe had not been spent.[52][53] In 2022, Ogles spoke publicly about difficulties he experienced in getting his family's health insurers to pay his wife's medical bills after Lincoln was stillborn, and blamed Obamacare for the problems.[51]

In 2023, Ogles refused to respond to NewsChannel 5 when its reporters questioned him on the topic, but he later released a statement to The Tennessee Star claiming that the funds raised were used to pay for burials of children of other families.[54] The statement quoted Andy Miller as corroborating Ogles's claim; The Independent cited reporting that Miller is a known Republican Party donor in Tennessee, whose business in 2016 paid $7.8 million to settle allegations of fraud in a federal case.[54][55] Ogles called NewsChannel 5's research and reporting on the subject "disgusting" and "vile".[54]

Electoral history

United States House of Representatives Elections in Tennessee, 2022: District 5[56]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Andy Ogles 123,358 55.87
Democratic Heidi Campbell 93,375 42.29
Independent Derrick Brantley 2,083 0.94
Independent Daniel Cooper 1,125 0.51
Independent Rich Shannon 846 0.38
Total votes 220,787 100
Tennessee's 5th Congressional District Republican Primary Results, 2022
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Andy Ogles 21,298 36.9
Republican Beth Harwell 14,998 26.0
Republican Kurt Winstead 12,709 22.0
Republican Jeff Beierlien 4,086 7.1
Republican Natisha Brooks 1,740 3.0
Republican Geni Batchelor 1,016 1.8
Republican Timothy Bruce Lee 843 1.5
Republican Stewart T. Parks 585 1.0
Republican Tres Wittum 397 0.7
Total votes 57,672 100.0
Maury County Mayoral election, 2018 [57]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Andy Ogles 6,843 36.53
Independent Charlie Norman (incumbent) 5,387 28.75
Independent Sonny Shackelford 5,031 26.85
Independent Amanda P. Kelton 1,474 7.87
Total votes 18,735 100.0
Republican hold
Tennessee's 23rd Senate District Republican Primary Results, 2006[14]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jack Johnson 4,623 30.72
Republican Ray "Chip" T. Throckmorton, III 4,351 28.91
Republican Tom Neill 3,408 22.64
Republican Jeff Ford 1,662 11.04
Republican Bob Barnwell 698 4.64
Republican Andy Ogles 309 2.05
Total votes 15,051 100.0
Tennessee's 4th Congressional District Republican Primary Results, 2002[13]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Janice Bowling 20,709 37.10
Republican Mike Greene 13,563 24.30
Republican Andy Ogles 8,201 14.69
Republican John Bumpus 7,245 12.98
Republican Mike Coffield 4,991 8.94
Republican Harvey Howard 1,063 1.91
Republican Write-ins 41 0.07
Total votes 55,813 100.0


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  35. ^ Houser, Kaitlin (January 6, 2023). "TN-5 GOP Congressman Andy Ogles Explains 12th Round Vote for McCarthy in House Speaker Race". The Tennessee Star. Retrieved February 17, 2023.
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  38. ^ "Rep. Ogles Statement on Covenant School Shooting". Office of Congressman Andy Ogles. March 27, 2023.
  39. ^ "The Internet Won't Let Nashville Rep. Andy Ogles Forget His Family Christmas Card After School Shooting". New Republic. March 27, 2023.
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