NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tennessee’s newest congressman has had an interesting week. Rep. Andy Ogles, a newly-sworn-in legislator who previously served as the Maury County mayor, bore witness to the contentious 15 rounds of voting to elect a new Speaker of the House. 

Ogles, along with other members of the House Freedom Caucus, held a hard line against Rep. Kevin McCarthy for most of those rounds. Members of the caucus at times opted to vote for Rep. Jim Jordan and former President Donald Trump as Speaker, among others, holding out against McCarthy until the legislator agreed to a number of demands on the House rules package, including a one-member threshold for calling for an ouster of the Speaker. 

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The move seemed to be a shift on Ogles’ part, after the freshman legislator brought McCarthy out onto the campaign trail. But Ogles told News 2 the situation was more complex than that. 

“Kevin coming to the district was an act of good faith,” he said. “What you have to understand is, in my primary, his people were against me in the primary, so inviting him to the district was a way for me to say, ‘Look, what happened in the primary is in the past, and I’m willing to move forward.’” 

Further, Ogles said, “I was never a ‘Kevin McCarthy person,’” though he does like the now-Speaker. 

During the voting rounds, which took several days to sort through, a moment of animated conversation between McCarthy and Ogles went viral, which Ogles said was “good faith” negotiation between the two. 

“That was a private conversation between he and I,” Ogles told News 2, though he said it centered around a large donor’s threat to cease backing the representative. 

“Part of it, too, was I had receive a text the night before where I had been threatened by a very wealthy donor—someone I had never met,” he said. “Part of it was [McCarthy] saying adamantly that he had nothing to do with it, he does not approve of that; he was apologetic about that event.” 

When he received the message, Ogles said, he immediately reached out to the California Republican to say he didn’t respond well to threats of that nature. 

“I immediately reached out to Kevin and said, ‘Look, I don’t know who this guy is, but I sure as heck don’t appreciate it, and that is the wrong way to go as we move forward,’” Ogles said. 

All of his interactions thus far have been akin to seeing how the sausage is made, he added. 

“I love sausage, but how you made sausage is not pretty and you probably don’t want to see it,” he said. “That’s what you saw last week: we were making sausage. It was ugly; it was messy; and the final product is what you really wanted after all.” 

What he and other Freedom Caucus members wanted included a provision that may potentially make it easier for the body to remove McCarthy as Speaker, though Ogles said he didn’t think the measure would be used. 

“I don’t think it will be used, and I don’t think it will need to be used, because Kevin will follow through on his promises,” he said. 

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Ogles also said he is open to reaching across the aisle on bipartisan issues. He said he spent some of his time on the House floor reaching out to his Democrat colleagues, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“I even spent some time with AOC, or Alex as she is known up here. She even wrote my kids a ‘Thank you for being here’ kind of note,” he said. “Look I am very conservative, but there are issues we both agree on.”