bill hagerty

Current, former Chattanooga congressmen make competing U.S. Senate endorsements

A Chattanooga congressman and his predecessor are making competing endorsements in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate. Former Rep. Zach Wamp is giving the nod to Vanderbilt surgeon Manny Sethi, while current Rep. Chuck Fleischmann is getting behind Bill Hagerty.

Wamp joined fellow former Rep. Ed Bryant (R-Jackson) in endorsing Sethi:

Fleischmann won the 3rd Congressional District seat when Wamp gave it up to run for governor in 2010. Wamp had first been elected to the seat in 1994.

Wamp endorsed Bill Lee in the 2018 gubernatorial primary, giving a boost to the Franklin businessman’s campaing. There was a personal backstory to that endorsement, as political operative Chip Saltsman was advising rival Republican Randy Boyd’s campaign. Saltsman had also run Fleischmann’s successful campaigns against Weston Wamp, the congressman’s son, in 2012 and 2014.

PAC funded by Sethi finance chairman hits Hagerty as ‘another liberal’

A political action committee calling itself the Conservative Outsiders’ PAC is running a series of videos attacking Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty as having “extreme ties to the most liberal elements of the Republican party,” ranging from Mitt Romney to Lamar Alexander.

“Why would we want another liberal like Bill Hagerty representing Tennessee,” the narrator says in the spot.

According to Federal Election Commission filings, the PAC has received only one donation: $100,000 from David Ingram, rival Republican candidate Manny Sethi’s state finance chairman.

Ingram served as treasurer to former House Speaker Beth Harwell’s gubernatorial in 2018 and as finance chairman for
2002 Republican gubernatorial nominee Van Hilleary’s campaign. His brother John, the billionaire chairman of Ingram Industries, has given the maximum personal donation of $5,600 to Hagerty. John Ingram is the owner of the Major League Soccer franchise Hagerty helped land in Nashville.

Here’s what the Hagerty campaign had to say in response:

Bill Hagerty has earned President Trump’s ‘complete and total’ endorsement, because the President knows he will be ‘strong on crime, borders and our Second Amendment.’ President Trump trusts Bill and personally asked him to serve on the American Revival Group where he is working to hold China accountable for the Wuhan virus and get our economy going again.

New Hagerty ad touts business experience (and Trump)

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty’s latest TV ad touts his business experience. But don’t call it a pivot — the 30-second spot still contains three references to President Donald Trump.

Here’s what the transcript:

Just like President Trump, Bill Hagerty is a can-do  businessman. Hagerty led economic development in Tennessee, making our economy one of the strongest in America. That’s why President Trump put Hagerty on his advisory board to rebuild America’s economy.  Bill Hagerty will fight to bring manufacturing jobs back from China while cutting taxes for small businesses and workers. Endorsed by President Trump, Bill Hagerty is the proven job creator. 


Senate candidates take contrasting stands on use of military to put down protests

In one of the starkest contrasts of the U.S. Senate race so far, Manny Sethi disagreed with rival Republican Bill Hagerty about whether the active-duty military should have a role in responding to civil unrest around the country.

Hagerty early last week called on President Donald Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act to crack down on violence and “domestic terrorism.” The Sethi campaign, however, told The Tennessee Journal, that the National Guard was better suited for the role.

Here’s the statement from Sethi campaign manager Chris Devaney:

Manny appreciates President Trump’s leadership, which is why he doesn’t think we need the 101st Airborne in this. Our U.S. military exists to kill bad guys, not to do police work. Our National Guard is more than capable of dealing with these rioters and looters, upholding the rule of law, and busting some heads if need be, to protect our country.

Trump last week week criticized governors for being “weak” and failing to “dominate the streets.” He floated the idea of using the Insurrection Act to send the military into states where governors hadn’t called in the National Guard, but ultimately didn’t take that step.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee authorized the Guard to intervene when Nashville protesters clashed with police and set fire to the Metro Courthouse. The Guard was also called in to augment security at the state Capitol, though the governor heaped praise on soldiers for laying down their shields during a peaceful protest.

The president over the weekend ordered Guard units to start returning to their home states “now that everything is under perfect control.”

Hagerty calls on president to invoke Insurrection Act, mobilze active-duty miltary

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty speaks at Nashville event on Dec. 3, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty is calling on President Donald Trump invoke the Insurrection Act to mobilize active-duty military forces in response to protests around the country.

“We cannot have another night of violence. It has to stop now,” the former U.S. ambassador to Japan said a release. “If we don’t, it propagates lawlessness.”

Trump has been mulling the use of the 213-year-old federal law, which would allow him to send troops to states without a formal request by their governors.

Here’s the release from the Hagerty campaign.

Nashville, TN — With the recent riots around the country, including Tennessee, Bill Hagerty, candidate for U.S. Senate, encourages President Trump to use the Insurrection Act to mobilize active-duty military forces in order to defend our communities from further acts of domestic terrorism.

“President Trump has already taken decisive leadership in recognizing ANTIFA as a terrorist organization,” said Bill Hagerty. “America is rooted in the rule of law. We cannot have another night of violence. It has to stop now. Period. If we don’t, it propagates lawlessness. To better protect our cities and communities from further danger, President Trump should use the Insurrection Act to its fullest extent. Mobilizing our military forces across the country will show that we will not tolerate domestic terrorism.”


Sethi ad attacks Hagerty for being ‘entitled, self-dealing’

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A new ad by U.S. Senate candidate Manny Sethi takes aim at rival Republican Bill Hagerty for obtaining a $2.5 million line of credit while small businesses were struggling to get loans amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“How did Hagerty prance right up to the front of the line, and get millions?” the narrator asks. “Well, you see, William Francis Hagerty IV is not a regular guy. He’s entitled, self-dealing. His friends in the ruling class aren’t like you and me.”

The ad was produced by Fred Davis, who is famous for some of his more vicious spots, like the 2011 “Demon Sheep” ad or the “King Rat” video of 2002.

Sethi has loaned his own campaign about $1.9 million. Hagerty disclosed last month that he had obtained the credit from Pinnacle Financial Partners.

The Tennessee Journal reported last week about the close ties between the candidate and the bank: Hagerty served on the board of directors there before he was appointed ambassador to Japan. And the Nashville-based bank’s co-founder and chairman, Rob McCabe, is the brother-in-law of former Gov. Bill Haslam, for whom Hagerty previously served as commissioner of Economic and Community Development.

Here’s a transcript of the ad:

Millions of American small business people have been praying for their small business loans to be funded, to save their companies, save jobs. But most banks just said ‘Big companies came first.’ By the time we got to you, the money was gone.

So, how, on March 27, did Bill Hagerty get a loan for two-and-a-half million dollars to fund his Senate campaign? How did Hagerty prance right up to the front of the line, and get millions?

Well, you see, William Francis Hagerty IV is not a regular guy. He’s entitled, self-dealing. His friends in the ruling class aren’t like you and me. So when Hagerty needed millions, they made sure he got it — ahead of you and me.

So, imagine Hagerty’s take if he was a Senator.

New Hagerty ad takes aim at China

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty has a new TV ad out blasting China for the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s a transcript of the spot:

Narrator: Communist China covered up the Wuhan virus, putting America at risk.

Conservative Bill Hagerty says we must hold China accountable.

Endorsed by President Trump, Bill Hagerty is tough on China.

Bill Hagerty: I’m Bill Hagerty, and I approve this message.

Hagerty releases ‘Blueprint to Bring Jobs Back to the U.S.’

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty speaks at Nashville event on Dec. 3, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty has been named to President Donald Trump’s advisory board on re-opening the U.S. economy ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic. Hagerty has released what what he calls a “blueprint” to bring jobs to the U.S. from China.

Here’s the full release from the Hagerty campaign:

Nashville, TN — In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, it has become clear that our dependency on China for key medical supplies and pharmaceutical drugs is a dangerous vulnerability for the United States. Today, Bill Hagerty released his latest plan to bring jobs back to the U.S. and secure our supply chains. 

“As the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, I have seen firsthand how dangerous the Communist Chinese regime can be. The coronavirus pandemic has only highlighted the threat China poses by underscoring the need to bring our supply chain back,” said Bill Hagerty. “We cannot rely on China’s state-owned companies to make so many of the products we need- including medical supplies and pharmaceutical drugs. As your next Senator, I will continue to support President Trump in standing up to the Chinese regime and bring jobs back to the U.S.”

In his plan, Hagerty notes that he will work alongside President Trump to: 

  • Make the corporate tax rate in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act permanent and further lower the corporate tax rate to make us more cost-competitive with other countries, including China
  • Continue to eliminate and remove outdated, costly and often conflicting regulations
  • Increase jobs training and skills development
  • Balance a number of corporate tax options to further incentivize manufacturers to move their businesses back from China, including:
    • ​Allowing immediate expensing of manufacturing equipment and related investments
    • Providing a capital gains tax reduction that would release fresh capital, encourage investment in the United States, and bring back manufacturing jobs
    • Implementing payroll tax relief for a specified period for companies that bring jobs back from China.

Read the full plan here.

Hagerty to report raising $1.2M in first quarter

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty speaks at Nashville event on Dec. 3, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty will report raising $1.2 million in the first quarter, the campaign announced Monday.

“We’re continuing to share my vision and plan to protect our conservative Tennessee values as we connect with voters across the state,” Hagerty said in a statement.

Here’s the release from the Hagerty campaign:

Nashville, TN — Team Hagerty today announced Bill Hagerty brought in more than $7 million for the campaign in just seven months. He has $5.6 million cash on hand. In the first quarter of 2020, Hagerty further extended his strong momentum of support, raising $1.2 million.

“Team Hagerty continues building momentum every single day, and our family is so grateful for this outpouring of support,” said Bill Hagerty. “We’re continuing to share my vision and plan to protect our conservative Tennessee values as we connect with voters across the state. Together, we will defeat Chuck Schumer’s hand-picked liberal candidate and support President Trump’s America First agenda.”

Speaking about the first quarter, Team Hagerty Finance Chair Steve Smith added, “Tennesseans want their next Senator to stand with President Trump to protect our conservative values. They know that Bill Hagerty has earned the President’s whole-hearted endorsement and that Bill is best positioned to work with our President to deliver for Tennessee. Bill is running a strong grassroots campaign, and the campaign is strongly positioned to defeat Chuck Schumer’s radically liberal candidate in November.”

Hagerty earned President Trump’s “complete and total” endorsement to be Tennessee’s next United States Senator while serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Japan. To learn more about Bill Hagerty, visit

Flinn weighs in on ‘good, bad, and ugly’ of coronavirus crisis response

Republican U.S. Senate candidate George Flinn is weighing in with his views on the “good, bad, and ugly” of the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Flinn, a Memphis physician and radio station owner, criticizes people who refuse to engage in social distancing and calls out members of Congress who allegedly sold stock holdings because they had advance warning of the effects of COVID-19.

“These actions, if proven true, are not only unfair but also illegal according to federal law and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Flinn said in a statement.

Flinn is seeking the GOP nomination to succeed retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Maryville) this year. His main rivals are former U.S. Ambassador Bill Hagerty and Vanderbilt surgeon Manny Sethi.

Read the full statement here:

As a physician, businessman, and politician, and most importantly as an American just like you, we are all affected by the many sides of this pandemic and the multiple ramifications it is reeking on our society. There are three main sides to this pandemic. First, the ugly.

THE UGLY — There are certain groups of people who refuse to pay attention and heed the national, state and local public health rulings and CDC guidelines. They continue to congregate in close quarters seemingly not caring what happens to others and appear to only be concerned with their personal satisfaction. They believe that this is not a real problem in the United States. The worldwide experience and history of this viral pandemic are ignored. This attitude and these actions keep the viral spread more active and continues the threat of overwhelming healthcare and economic systems. It thwarts our efforts to “flatten the curve” and benefits no one. 

Congress passed a 2.2 trillion-dollar bailout bill that President Trump signed into law on March 27, 2020. This bill, called the CARES Act, is intended to re-energize our economy by helping individual citizens and employees through direct payments, enhanced unemployment benefits and through small businesses and corporations. The goal is to make sure people continue to have money coming into their homes and provide money to people to spend and keep a portion of our economy going. Already, a small percentage of the population is planning to “game the system” and receive more than their fair share of the 2.2 trillion dollars. For this small sector, greed is not dead.

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