The Tennessee Senate Republican primary was definitely one very competitive race, especially during its final weeks. Bill Hagerty edged out his primary contenders for the win. Haggerty had the endorsement of President Donald J. Trump himself –experts say the endorsement made the difference.
On Thursday, Mr. Hagerty, 60, who served as the president’s first ambassador to Japan, defeated 14 other primary candidates to succeed the retiring Senator Lamar Alexander.
Mr. Hagerty thanked PresidentTrump in a victory speech from his hometown, Gallatin, with Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas joining him onstage.
”I have a very special person to thank — I just got off the phone with him backstage,” Mr. Hagerty said. “That’s President Donald Trump.
“You know, President Trump has had my back since before the beginning of all of this,” he went on. “Thank you for being the inspiration to me, President Trump.”
Dr. Manny Sethi, had strong grass-roots support and positioned himself as the race’s true conservative and most committed ally of the president, earning the support of high profile conservatives like Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.
Dr. Sethi, 42, an orthopedic surgeon, had for months attacked Mr. Hagerty for his longtime friendship with Senator Mitt Romney of Utah and support from the Tennessee Republican establishment.
After Hagerty’s win, he released the following statement:
“Thank you to the Republican voters of Tennessee. I’m honored and humbled to have the support of so many Christian conservatives across our great state. I also want to thank my Lord and Savior – through Him all things are possible. I’m also grateful for the ‘complete and total’ support of President Trump, as well as Vice President Pence, Senator Blackburn and so many conservatives who agree that we need more Trump conservatives in the United States Senate. Now more than ever, we need strong conservative Senators who will not kowtow to the angry liberal mob that is tearing apart the fabric of the America we love. President Trump won’t stand for it, and neither will I. In the Senate, I will stand with President Trump and Senator Blackburn to support our law enforcement officers, defend the right to life by defunding Planned Parenthood, confirm constitutionalist judges and protect our Tennessee conservative values. Again, I am humbled by your strong support and I will continue to fight every day to be your United States Senator.”
Many say that the senate race was one of the most negative races in Tennessee’s history with negative ads from both sides.
“It’s difficult to witness the dangerous and lawless direction that some in our country have chosen to pursue over these last few weeks. Amidst the violent protests, the liberal mob wants to remove our statues, monuments, holidays – erasing our history. They want to change the National Anthem.
They even will go as far as to burn the American flag. They want to get rid of statues and depictions of Christ. It’s sickening, dangerous and patently un-American,” said Rep. Andy Holt who endorced Bill Hagerty early in the campaign.
Haggerty will face Marquita Bradshaw, the winner of the Democratic Senate primary, in November to succeed retiring Republican U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander.