News Release Catherine Frazier
June 8, 2015

Cruz for President Names Tennessee and New Jersey State Chairs
Campaign Continues Building Robust National Leadership Team

HOUSTON, Texas -- Today, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, announced that former Williamson County Republican Party Chairman and statewide conservative leader Kevin Kookogey will become the Tennessee State Chair and former Bogata mayor and longtime conservative activist Steve Lonegan with become the New Jersey State Chair of the Cruz for President campaign.

“Kevin Kookogey has been a consistently strong voice for conservative principles and an active member of our party for a number of years,” said Cruz. “His experience and knowledge of both the landscape in Tennessee and the issues that matter to Tennesseans will be critical components to our success in the Volunteer state.”

“Steve Lonegan has been a tireless advocate for taxpayers and was one of America’s most fiscally responsible mayors,” said Cruz. “He brings a wealth of knowledge in both New Jersey politics and conservative governance to our campaign, and I deeply appreciate his support.”

Kevin Kookogey will serve as Tennessee Chairman for Cruz for President. Based in what the Daily Caller once designated as “the most conservative friendly county in America,” Kookogey served as Chairman of the Williamson County Republican Party from 2011-2013, and Treasurer from 2009-2011. A grassroots political activist, Kookogey is also a Heritage Action for America Sentinel and 2014 “Wall of Honor” recipient. In 2013, as President and Founder of Linchpins of Liberty, Kookogey was the first IRS target to testify before the House Ways & Means Committee concerning the Obama Administration’s unlawful obstruction and delay of tax-exempt status for his and hundreds of other conservative and liberty-minded organizations. Kookogey has led the very public fight against Common Core in Tennessee, and has developed a reputation for leadership on issues of American sovereignty, defense, and religious liberty. He and his wife are long time members of the President’s Club of the Heritage Foundation and Kevin is also a member of The Philadelphia Society.

During his time as mayor, Steve Lonegan led statewide campaigns on behalf of New Jersey taxpayers. Whether it was fighting the unconstitutional state bonding or gasoline tax hikes, Steve was willing to take on leaders in both parties to do what was right for New Jersey's working families. Steve has won a hard-fought victories over a proposed 8% sales tax on the statewide ballot, a $38 billion toll hike, and taxpayer-financed legislative elections. Steve was reelected as mayor in 1999 and 2003 by double-digit margins over his Democrat opponents in a two to one Democrat town, demonstrating that conservative leadership resonates across party lines. Most recently, Lonegan was the Republican nominee for the special election for U.S. Senate in 2013.

Kevin Kookogey said, “I first witnessed the leadership of Ted Cruz back in 2011 at an event in Texas, well before anyone even knew he was running for Senate. There is not another political leader in America who possesses both an understanding of the challenges of our times and the moral courage to meet them. Senator Cruz is a lion who knows no retreat, a defender of the American order, and I am humbled and honored to be serving him.”

Steve Lonegan said, “America needs a President that understands that only liberty can lead us to prosperity. We need a President who will support our Constitution fearlessly and cut the size of government, not just slow down its growth. Senator Cruz not only understands this, but has the record to prove it. He has shown the courage to lead our nation back to greatness in the world.”

Paid for by Cruz for President

ed. note...a reaction

CAIR Urges Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz to Drop Anti-Muslim Tennessee Campaign Chair

WASHINGTON, June 9, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today urged Republican presidential candidate and Texas Senator Ted Cruz to remove Kevin Kookogey as his state chairman for Tennessee because of his longstanding support for anti-Muslim and Islamophobic causes.

"If Senator Cruz chooses to keep Mr. Kookogey on his campaign staff, it would serve as an endorsement of anti-Muslim hate," said CAIR Government Affairs Manager Robert McCaw. "In the past few months, Senator Cruz has attended several conferences featuring notorious Islamophobes like Robert Spencer and Frank Gaffney. Despite calls to distance himself from such anti-Muslim bigots, it seems that Senator Cruz is only drawing closer to hate-mongers."

McCaw noted that in 2012 - as chairman of the Williamson County Republican Party - Kookogey oversaw the adoption of a resolution condemning Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam for appointing a Muslim lawyer to the state's Department of Economic and Community Development.

The resolution stated in part:

"Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has elevated and/or afford preferential political status to Sharia adherents in Tennessee, thereby aiding and abetting the advancement of an ideology and doctrine which is wholly incompatible with the Constitution of the United States and the Tennessee Constitution."

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Manager Robert McCaw, CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper