MT. JULIET — Lou Ann Zelenik, fresh from her court victory in the lawsuit brought by Diane Black's husband's company, has filed her qualifying papers to be a candidate for sixth district congress. She will be taking on Diane Black, who narrowly defeated her by only 283 votes in a 6 way congressional race in 2010.
Black had contended defamation growing out of the campaign against her husband’s company, but on March 21st, a Circuit Court Judge in Nashville ruled that the television ad in question was "true', and that "The truth is an absolute defense".
While Diane Black had the district redrawn in an effort to eliminate Zelenik, the challenger has become a resident of Mt. Juliet, and much of the district is the same as two years ago. Federal law does not require a candidate to live in the district, although with her move, Ms. Zelenik does have a residence within the newly configured district.
In filing her papers Zelenik also announced that she is taking a leave of absence as Executive Director of the Tennessee Freedom Coalition, a nonprofit 501c4 organization that has been instrumental in sounding the alarm over the growing Islamic movement in America and the threat of Sharia Law. In addition the organization has been active in pursuing more forceful illegal immigration enforcement, and calling for market based reforms of the healthcare system. Zelenik said, "It has been a joy and privilege to serve with my fellow board members. I know they will continue to fight the good fight to save the values that built this country."
Andy Miller, Nashville entrepreneur, and founder and Chairman of TFC commented on Zelenik's leave of absence, “Lou Ann has been the rock that we have all depended upon to get us through some very turbulent times. She is one of the bravest and most dedicated people I have ever known. We will miss her, but the opportunity to have a person with her ethics, courage, and devotion to this country serving us in congress is one that we should all be excited about. The entire organization wishes her God's speed."
Zelenik made clear that this is only her filing, and not the official kickoff to the campaign. "This is the beginning of the process. Many details need to be taken care of, and I will be making a formal announcement with a campaign kickoff at a later date. I look forward to presenting a vision of what congress should be. We need congressmen of integrity, unquestioned ethics, and a commitment to the conservative principles most Tennesseans share."