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Former Tenn. GOP executive director joins ERLC

NASHVILLE (BP) — Former Tennessee GOP Executive Director Brent Leatherwood has been appointed as the new director of strategic partnerships for the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

In this role, Leatherwood will work to further the organization’s reach in the public square through coalition building and mobilizing, and by serving as an advisor on both state-level and national policy goals.

“Brent Leatherwood is the perfect fit to serve as our director of strategic partnerships,” said ERLC President Russell Moore.

“He comes to this role with far-reaching political and organizing experience, deep concern for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and a unique ability to join these together on issues in the public square. I can’t wait to unleash his skill on our task of equipping churches and advancing issues critical to Southern Baptists around the country.”

Leatherwood is a deacon at The Church at Avenue South, a Nashville church plant of Brentwood Baptist Church. He has served as the executive director of the Tennessee Republican Party from December 2012 to December 2016. There, he managed the organization’s campaign apparatus at the federal, state and local levels. Under his guidance, the Tennessee GOP helped elect more than 800 candidates, including several statewide offices — believed to be the most in any four-year timeframe in the organization’s history.

Leatherwood also has worked on Capitol Hill as a senior legislative aide to former Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla. In that role, he guided the domestic priorities for the Congressman on the House Budget Committee and the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.

Leatherwood noted, “It’s an honor to join the talented team Dr. Moore has put together.”

“For years, I’ve worked in the political arena alongside some very good men and women. But I’ve come to realize that politics flows downstream from culture,” he said. “So, if I truly want to make a difference, I have to be active upstream. That means engaging the culture with Gospel principles and Christian conviction. I’m grateful for this opportunity.”

Leatherwood and his wife Meredith have three children. He will serve the ERLC from its Nashville office.

Among Republicans who welcomed the news were:

— Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.

“I cannot think of a better pairing than Brent Leatherwood and the ERLC,” Corker said. “He’s an articulate young man who builds bridges and makes a difference. I look forward to continuing to work with Brent and the ERLC,” he said.

— Diane Black, R-Tenn., interim House Budget Committee chairman

“The ERLC is an important voice in the American debate and an agent of healing for our broken world,” she said. “That’s why I am so excited that a young conservative Tennessean like Brent Leatherwood is joining this important mission and I look forward to working with ERLC in the years ahead.”

— Matt Pinnell, the national state party director of the Republican National Committee

“In his four years as the executive director of the Tennessee GOP, Brent proved to be an invaluable asset,” he said. “Whether it was his stewardship of the party or his ability to build relationships with peers across the nation, Leatherwood is the consummate professional. His addition to the ERLC shows Dr. Moore is serious about raising the profile of this organization and engaging on the issues that matter.”

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