Devaney, Gehrke to head up Sethi’s campaign team

The timing of physician Manny Sethi’s announcement that he plans to run for the Republican nomination to succeed U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Maryville) caught many political observers off guard because most had been waiting to hear what former Gov. Bill Haslam planned to do on the race.

But Sethi and his team apparently ran out of patience and decided to pull the trigger, using “outsider” themes echoing those made by similarly little-known Bill Lee when the latter was making surprise march toward the governor’s office last year.

So it may come as little surprise that a Lee consultant, Jordan Gehrke, is reprising that role for the Sethi campaign. Chris Devaney, a former state Republican Party chairman who served as Lee’s campaign manager, has agreed to run the day-to-day operations of the Sethi campaign. Devaney had been working as a senior adviser to the Lee administration.

Fred Davis, who produced Lee’s TV ads during the governor’s race, has been in talks with the Sethi camp, but is believed to be awaiting word about Haslam’s intentions before taking the plunge. Davis did the advertising for Haslam’s 2010 governor’s bid.

Gehrke and Blake Harris were the general consultants for Lee’s gubernatorial bid. Harris now serves as the governor’s chief of staff.

18 Responses to Devaney, Gehrke to head up Sethi’s campaign team

  • Stuart I. Anderson says:

    Yesireee, with all the problems facing this country lets establish a tradition of electing No Record Candidates to high political office based simply on who can hire a “campaign team” most adept at appealing to our emotions and their word that they are “conservative.”

    • Bob Schwartz says:

      Manny Sethi has a record of achievement in the private sector and a compelling personal story that will make him a formidable candidate. He’s an outsider to politics and that’s precisely why he’s hired experienced political hands to manage his campaign. Makes sense to me. Good sense.

  • MARLE says:

    I made the mistake you are referencing Stuart. In the last election I voted for a candidate with no record. He promised to pay for Tax Cuts with loophole closures and increased revenue from the robust economy. Didn’t happen. We have added another Trillion of debt.

    He promised to allow the Fed to raise interest rates to reflect the true value of money over time. Now he is brow beating the Fed to keep them low (or lower them) to make the Stock market the only viable, albeit it risky, way to keep pace with inflation.

    He promised a Wall that Mexico would pay for~ a wall that is stalled for lack of funding.

    He promised a super-negotiator; what we have is someone unable to negotiate without the sledge hammer of tariffs which is crippling the business community. Who can create a sensible business plan for a multi-billion dollar company when a unilateral 25% tariff can be imposed on any day of the week, on any country in the world, by Executive order?

    Donald Trump is certainly a primo example of what can happen when you vote for a candidate without a record.

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      INDEED!!!! That’s why I contributed a significant amount of money to various political action groups dedicated to nominating Ted Cruz. On the other hand, I’m afraid Donald Trump was and will be the only sensible choice in the general election considering the fact that madness is a basic criterion any Democrat must demonstrate in order to be eligible for that party’s nomination for President.

      • MARLE says:

        And Stuart….the business community should be apoplectic at the thought that this on-again/off-again tariff nonsense might continue unabated, reeking havoc with everyone from Chip makers to Farmers for the next 5 years!

        Every industry from airlines, to retail, to financial, to commodities, to technology, literally ever sector (except defense-related) is down 20%+ and in many cases much worse than that from their 2018 highs. Check the charts! Keeping your adversaries guessing AND making mincemeat of US companies in the process b/c they, too, are left guessing, potentially for month after month is not the hallmark of a great negotiator.

        I thought Trump was the ultimate hiring genius….the best and the brightest. He never mentioned that the Pool of Applicants was going to be limited to “Yes-men” sycophants. If these best and brightest keep advising him on his reckless use of tariffs they’re going to wreck an otherwise relatively good economy.

        • Stuart I. Anderson says:

          We have to do something about the uncontrolled illegal immigration flooding into this country. We already have a significant percentage of El Salvadoreans living in this country. There are 47 million central americans, the vast majority of whom would be better off living by means of our welfare system rather than their home in Central America. The liberals in the Democratic Party see nothing but one or two generations of reliable voters so they are determined to obstruct any attempt to end this flood that is flowing through Mexico.

          The Mexicans have to understand that their doing nothing to stop organized caravans of economic migrants illegally attempting to take advantage of our broken immigration laws is an unfriendly act that will be met with a response. Should we tax remittances by Mexicans in this country back to Mexico? I am indifferent as to exactly what is done but something has to be done and its about time Trump does it. If our industry is being harmed by all this then let them put pressure on the powers that be in Mexico to stop the flood NOW!!!!

          • MARLE says:

            What has remittance by Mexicans back to their relatives back home got to do with tariffs? Chinese tariffs are the real killer. Yes the Chinese, whose females don’t have 30 pairs of shoes in the closet are running a trade imbalance with a consumption driven, throw-away society. Does Trump have trade balance with the purchasers of condos in Trump tower? Does his organization buy as much of the goods those tenants sell as he got from them in the purchase price? No, he probably doesn’t and yet both he and They are still wealthy although they do not do deals in balance with each other.

  • Stuart I. Anderson says:

    Remittances by Mexicans have nothing to do with tariffs and tariffs have nothing to do with illegal immigration that is costing us a fortune and changing this country demographically and politically but those two items are the only leverage we have over Mexico to force that country to stop serving as the highway along which the illegals travel. Is there another leverage point that is being overlooked? The Chinese engage in unfair trading practices such as stealing our technology and demanding government participation in businesses locating in China. Much like Mexico, there is no disputing the fact that China has acted this way for many years.

    Until now Mexico and China have mumbled something or other as they give us the ole rope-a-dope as they unrespond to our complaints. Previous administration have put up with this nonsense, Trump is showing signs that he has no intention of doing so thus fulfilling his campaign pledge. Now all he needs is the American people to support him as he seeks to end our being played for fools.

    • MARLE says:

      Do you really believe that this is good for the United States…. a president who Could, year after year uses tariffs against any country on earth for any reason.

      Capital markets rose on the Promises made by Trump and hit their highs in mid-2018. We Lost ground since that point.

      Knowing, as we have come to learn, that tariffs his weapon of choice and recognizing the consequences to Capital markets that this turmoil causes with absolutely no rhyme or reason other than Presidential choice is something that Conservative voters are going to have to seriously consider.

      5 years of this type of uncertainty cannot be a good thing. Yet not a peep from any of the TN contingent of candidates you support.

  • Misty Pardner says:

    DeVaney, do we really need to say anything? This early leap seems so similar. Can you say Andy Ogles? I guess this guy is taking the Neil Young approach. Better to burn out than fade away. Haslam 2020!

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      I have to admit that Lamar has been so atrocious with his Heritage lifetime score of 47% that there is a distinct possibility that Gov. Pabulum may very well turn out to be better than what we have, but we can do much, much better than either. Stay tuned Misty for the best is yet to come.

  • Jacob Standifird says:

    The shots against Trump ignore the fact that never trumpers wouldn’t support his initiatives, except Judges. We need someone who is pro American, so I hope Haslam does not run.

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  • Phil Lassiter says:

    I thought Devaney was a Republican this year. Isn’t Sethi a Republican? Maybe these guys rotate parties like farmers rotate crops. I guess that keeps them in the money

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  • Victor F. Andrews says:

    I’m a working class conservative and I will vote for a dog catcher before I’ll vote for Haslam, Corker or Alexander types ever again. Just not gonna do it, NEVER! I know nothing of Dr. Manny Sethi, but I’ll bite on the ‘outsider’ role……after all a blind monkey could run our government more effectively with less debt than most any of the politicians we have in office now. They all argue with passion for show on TV then meet together for golf, then dinner on our dime!

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