Bill Hagerty defeats Dr. Manny Sethi in Tennessee Senate race
GALLATIN, Tennessee (WDEF) – The man President Trump endorsed to take over Lamar Alexander’s seat in Tennessee won a serious primary challenge on Thursday.
Bill Hagerty defeated 14 other Republicans, including a surprising challenge from Dr. Manny Sethi.
Bill Hagerty 328,234 – 51 percent
Manny Sethi 254,563 – 39 percent
George Flinn 22,238 – 3 percent
Chattanooga pharmacist Roy Cope got 1,779 votes.
Hagerty served as U.S. ambassador to Japan in the Trump administration before coming home to run for the seat.
Senator Lamar Alexander, who just turned 80 this month, chose to retire this year.
President Trump actually announced his endorsement before Hagerty had actually said he was running.
And it was Hagerty’s main campaign theme.
Tonight, he thanked his supporters in his hometown of Gallatin.
“You believed in me. You believed in my vision for this state. I can’t thank you enough for sending me, to be your Republican candidate for U.S. Senate. I’m looking forward to serving you well.”
Now the Republican faces Marquita Bradshaw in November.
She upset James Mackler who had the backing of the Senate Democratic Committee.
Marquita Bradshaw 111,947 – 36 percent
Robin Kimbrough 80,892 – 26 percent
James Mackler 69,663 – 23 percent
Bradshaw is a single mom and civil rights activist from Memphis.
She raised less than $10,000 for her winning campaign.
However, Hagerty will be a heavy favorite in November.
A Democrat has not won a Senate race in Tennessee since Al Gore did it in 1990.