Tennessee’s Republican lieutenant governor’s office has defended the 79-year-old conservative’s loving and admiring comments on the Instagram page of a 20-year-old male musician.
Since 2020, Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally’s verified account has regularly commented on the page of a user who goes by the name Franklin Superstar on Instagram.
In a video of Franklin walking down a ramp in his underwear, McNally wrote, “I love it,” accompanied by heart and flame emojis.
On another occasion, McNally commented under a photo, “You seem super happy. You are like sunshine.’ While showing Franklin in his underwear, McNally wrote, “Franklyn, you can turn a rainy day into rainbows and sunshine.”
In an exclusive conversation with DailyMail.com, Franklin, who identifies as gay, said he had no idea who McNally was when he started commenting on his social media. “That’s not how I keep up with politics,” he said.
In a video of Franklin walking down a ramp in his underwear, McNally wrote, “I love it,” accompanied by heart emojis
Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally also serves as the Speaker of the Tennessee State Senate and has represented his district in the chamber since 1978.
McNally’s communications director Adam Kleinheider told Fox Nashville that the framing of the story was the work of a “left-wing agent” that made the Lieutenant Governor’s messages appear “sinister or inappropriate.”
As everyone in Tennessee politics knows, Lieutenant Governor McNally is a prolific social media commentator. He makes every effort to review every post he can and regularly posts encouraging things for many of his followers,” Kleinheider’s statement continued.
Does he always use the right emoji at the right time? Maybe not. But he enjoys interacting with voters and Tennesseans of all religions, backgrounds and orientations on social media. He has no intention of stopping.’
In his role as Lieutenant Governor, McNally is the Speaker of the Senate.
According to the podcast The Tennessee caller, they are the left-wing agents referred to in the Lieutenant Governor’s statement.
Franklin told DailyMail.com that he had exchanged private messages with McNally, but said he did not want to reveal the contents. He also said that the pair have never met in person.
In at least one post, McNally refers to Franklin by his nickname Finn.
Franklin responded to several messages on McNally. Under one where the lieutenant governor posted three love hearts and three fire emojis, Franklin replied, “You’re literally always so nice.” King.’
In at least one social media post, McNally refers to Franklin by his nickname Finn
In February, McNally commented under this photo on Facebook. “I love this picture, but Finn, you look,” said. I hope everything is going well. So don’t talk to me’
In February, McNally commented under one of Franklin’s photos on Facebook. “I love this picture, but Finn, you look,” said. I hope everything is going well. If not, talk to me.’
Franklin was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, part of the state McNally represents as a senator for the fifth district, but now lives in South Carolina.
He tells DailyMail.com that he pursues music and said he wants to be the “male Doja Cat.”
In 2023, Tennessee was at the forefront of states seeking to advance legislation targeting the LGBTQ community.
Last week, lawmakers in the state introduced a bill prohibiting transgender people from changing their driver’s licenses and birth certificates, a move that officials warn could cost the state millions in federal funding.
Governor Bill Lee signed a bill this week to prevent drag queens from performing in a space not defined as an “adult cabaret,” such as a strip club.
Franklin told DailyMail.com that he is an aspiring singer who plans to become the “male Doja Cat”
Across the country, conservative activists and politicians complain that drag contributes to the “sexualization” or “grooming” of children. Several states are considering restrictions.
Despite the state’s heavy-handed approach to LGBTQ issues, McNally was lukewarm on several issues, including pushing for a ban on transgender athletes competing in college sports, the Tennessee reported in 2021.
2019, the same newspaper reported that McNally warned Republicans in his state that anti-LGBTQ legislation could affect businesses seeking to invest in Tennessee.
According to his official profile, McNally, a retired pharmacist, has a wife, Janice, two adult daughters and three grandchildren.
In his role as Senate President, despite opposition from his party, McNally acknowledged President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election shortly after the January 6 riot at the Capitol.