bill hagerty

Hagerty rejoins board of private investment firm

Former U.S. Ambassador Bill Hagerty attends a CPAC conference in Memphis on Oct. 27, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty is rejoining the board of the private investment firm he was a member of before his appointment as ambassador to Japan.

Hagerty will become a member of Hall Capital’s automotive and private investment board. Will Alexander, the son of retiring U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, is also affiliated with the firm.

“I am pleased to rejoin my friends at Hall Capital,” Hagerty said in a release. “The Hall family has demonstrated a deep commitment to Tennessee and their investments here are only going to multiply.  I have a long relationship with the Hall family, I have a great deal of respect for their integrity, and I look forward to partnering with them to further grow Tennessee’s economy.”

Sethi opposes background checks, red flag laws

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Manny Sethi says he opposes universal background checks for gun purchases. He’s also against so-called red flag laws, which allow judges to issue orders allowing law enforcement to confiscate guns from people found to be a danger to themselves or others.

Here’s Sethi’s tweet about guns:

Sethi is running against former U.S. Ambassador Bill Hagerty for the GOP nomination to succeed retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander.

 

Sethi in new TV ad: “Let ’em try to call me racist.”

Republican Senate candidate Manny Sethi has launched his first TV ad. His campaign says the ad will run statewide — and in Washington, D.C.

The spot features Sethi’s mother speaking about the seven-year process she and her husband went through to immigrate to the United States from India.  “Others come here illegally, take all the benefits and then if you dare say that’s wrong – you are called racist?” she says.

The candidate warns about an “illegal immigrant invasion” if Republicans don’t win next year.

“That’s why I’m running,” he says. “Let ‘em try to call me a racist.”

Here’s the script of the ad:

Dr. Chander Sethi: My husband and I were young doctors in India who wanted to come to America. We followed the law and immigrated legally. It took seven years. We were country doctors in Tennessee for twenty-five years. I delivered thousands of babies, worked hard to be a good citizen. So why do others come here illegally, take all the benefits and then if you dare say that’s wrong – you are called racist? My son, Manny, is a Tennessee surgeon, he’s now running for U.S. Senate. And he knows this is wrong.

Dr. Manny Sethi: We’re gonna have an illegal immigrant invasion if Republicans don’t win in 2020. Democrats are going to give this country away. That’s why I’m running. Let ‘em try to call me a racist.

Democrat James Mackler’s campaign quickly seized on the Sethi ad in a fundraising email:

Unbelievable — one of James’ opponents just launched a despicable ad. Here’s what he says:

“We’re going to have an illegal immigrant invasion if Republicans don’t win in 2020… Let ‘em call me a racist.” – Manny Sethi

DENOUNCE THE AD BY CONTRIBUTING TO JAMES’ CAMPAIGN

James’ opponent is a first generation American who wants to shut the door behind him, and he’s fueling his campaign with fear tactics, divisive rhetoric, and extreme views.

Hagerty raises $1.9M for Senate bid, Sethi adds $839K

Bill Hagerty attends the Tennessee Republican Party’s Statesmen’s Dinner in Nashville on June 15, 2019. At right is U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood). (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Former U.S. Ambassador Bill Hagerty raised $1.9 million for the Senate bid in the final three week’s of the reporting period, the campaign announced Thursday. Rival Republican canddiate Manny Sethi reported $329,000 in contributions, plus a $500,000 loan from himself.

“Chrissy and I are deeply humbled by the support our campaign has earned so far,” Hagerty said in a statement. “I’m ready to fight for your family in the U.S. Senate, and this support is essential as we work to share my conservative vision for our state and our country. We will continue to talk with Tennesseans about how I can best serve them in the Senate and fight to pass President Trump’s agenda.”

The Hagerty campaign said it spent just $20,000 in the quarter.

Sethi, a Vanderbilt surgeon, raised $542,000 in the previous period and loaned his campaign another $1 million. All of Hargerty’s contributions this quarter come from outside donors.

Cagle sees Senate race as ‘Manny against the Machine’

It all goes back to 2014, Knox TN Today’s Frank Cagle writes in his latest column. That’s when incumbent U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander lost 27 counties — including the incumbent’s home county of Blount — in the Republican primary to a “broke, no-name former state legislator,” Joe Carr. The prospects of credible, well-funded challenges were enough, Cable writes, to lead Alexander and fellow Sen. Bob Corker (R-Chattanooga) to retire and cause former Gov. Bill Haslam not to run for either seat.

Cagle is a former managing editor of the Knoxville News Sentinel and served as spokesman for Republican Van Hilleary’s 2002 gubernatorial campaign. He isn’t averse to throwing bombs in his opinion pieces, and this column is no exception.

The question Cagle raises is: “How does the cocktail party caucus retain control of the Republican political machine in the Age of Trump?”

Manny against the Machine

Haslam’s much-delayed decision not to run for Alexander’s seat this year “froze the field, dried up donors and forced [U.S. Rep. Mark] Green out of the race,” Cagle writes. When Haslam finally begged off, President Donald Trump was “primed to announce an endorsement of Hagerty to give him a clear field to glide into the seat.”

But hopes of clearing the field didn’t occur when Sethi jumped into the race — and has remained a thorn in the side of Hagerty’s efforts.

“Hagerty will be running a top-down campaign, Sethi will be running a bottom-up campaign,” according to Cagle. “While Hagerty was being introduced around the Neyland Stadium skyboxes by Haslam Saturday night, Sethi was at a Montgomery County chili supper.”

Hagerty’s ties to Trump critic Mitt Romney, the former presidential candidate and current U.S. senator, could hurt him among the president’s supporters in the state, Cagle writes:

A key to the race may be whether Trump wants to come to Tennessee and rally for Hagerty. It isn’t likely Romney will be getting an invitation.

For now, the rallying cry is Manny Against the Machine.

Media roundup of Pence visit to Nashville area

Gov. Bill Lee and former U.S. Ambassador Bill Hagerty (who also happens to be running for the U.S. Senate) met Vice President Mike Pence on the tarmac for his visit to Nashville. Pence spoke at a Tyson Foods plant in Goodlettsville, recorded an interview for former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s radio show, adn attended a fundraiser for the Trump-Pence re-election campaign.

An anticipated media gaggle — where reporters undoubtedly would have asked the vice president about the congressional impeachment probe — did not take place.

Here’s a roundup of some of the news coverage:

Amid Trump controversy, Pence demands passage of new North American trade agreement (Daily Memphian)

Considered NAFTA 2.0 by some observers, the plan purportedly would update what supporters call an outdated trade agreement with its two neighbors and expand U.S. exports. “This president, he’s impatient for it,” Pence told a crowd of mostly Republican supporters and plant employees. “The truth is we need Congress to approve the United States-Mexico-Canada (agreement), and we need them to approve it this year.”

Ahead of Trump fundraiser, Vice President Mike Pence pushes U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal (Tennessean)

The vice president made an apparent reference to past and ongoing investigations against Trump, including an impeachment inquiry led by Democrats, saying the president’s accomplishments in office had occurred despite “endless investigations trying to overturn the will of the American people.

Pence asks Tennesseans to support Mexico-Canada trade deal (AP)

“It’s time for the Democrats in Congress to set politics aside and pass the USMCA,” Pence said Monday.

He urged attendees to call U.S. Reps. Jim Cooper of Nashville and Steve Cohen of Memphis and tell them, “Tennessee needs the USMCA.”

Sec. of Agriculture talks to local farmers, pushes new trade deal (WTVF-TV)

Farmers had the opportunity to ask the secretary several questions. Some soybean farmers said they were weary because of the tariffs China placed on U.S. Soybeans in response to tariffs the U.S. placed on Chinese imports.

“Farmers get that – they’re honest people, they want to be treated fairly,” said Perdue. “The fact is they know China hasn’t been playing by the rules for a long time.”

Sethi, Hagerty ramp up fundraising before quarterly deadline

Vanderbilt surgeon Manny Sethi and former U.S. Ambassador Bill Hagerty have ramped up their fundraising activity in advance of the end of the of the third quarter on Monday.

Sethi held fundraisers in Chattanooga, Nashville, and Memphis. Event
hosts include Fred Decosimo, the former campaign treasurer for Bill Lee’s gubernatorial campaign, former HCA Tristar President Larry Kloess, healthcare entrepreneur Bill West, developer Jim Sattler, and wealth management adviser Frank Bumstead.

Hagerty has events being hosted at the Nashville homes of Barry Stowe, the former CEO of Prudential’s North American operations, state Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bobby Rolfe, lobbyist Dale Allen, and Blair Wilson, the brother of state Comptroller Justin Wilson. Two of the events will be held after the current quarter ends, but all checks are supposed to be received by Sept. 30.

Here is the Hagerty invite (home addresses have been deleted):

Ambassador Bill Hagerty has announced his bid for U.S. Senate and we want you to join Team Hagerty. Please see below for a personal invitation to join Bill and be part of his campaign launch. There are four opportunities to attend a kick-off reception over the next few weeks. Details are below or click here for an invitation. Please reply and let us know of your support. – Kim

Kim Kaegi

Please select a date and location most convenient for you.
* All events 5:30 – 7:00 pm *
Limited capacity for each reception to allow for more one-on-one engagement.

Thursday, September 26
Sherri & Barry Stowe

Monday, September 30
Kathy & Bobby Rolfe

Thursday, October 3
Linde & Blair Wilson

Wednesday, October 9
Julie & Dale Allen

$11,200 ~ Sponsor
$5,600 ~ Host
$2,800 ~ Attend

To make your reservation & contribute: TeamHagerty/donate
All contributions encouraged to be made prior to 9.30.19

Here are the invites for the Sethi events:

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Sethi blasts Romney (and, by extension Hagerty) over refusal to endorse Trump

Republican surgeon Manny Sethi in a fundraising email blasts U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney for saying he won’t endorse President Donald Trump in next year’s election. Romney, of course, is a longtime friend and mentor to former Ambassador Bill Hagerty, who joined the Senate race last week. Sethi doesn’t mention Hagerty by name in the email blast, but points out that voters will have a choice between the “conservative outsider” and the “political establishment.”

Trump has endorsed Hagerty in the race. And Hagerty has left little opportunity unseized to sing the praises of the president. Tennessee Republicans have never quite warmed to Romney, who finished third in the state’s Republican presidential primary in 2008 (behind Mike Huckabee and John McCain) and second to Rick Santorum in 2012.

Here’s the full Sethi email:

From the beginning I have said that Tennesseans will have a choice between a conservative outsider, and the political establishment.

Romney himself came out in support of my opponent. One political insider supporting another. But, you know who Senator Mitt Romney won’t endorse? Our President.

Just last week, Mitt Romney came out and said he will not endorse President Donald Trump for re-election. Wow. This is the same guy that supported a regressive carbon tax, is the father of Obamacare, and did not want to reduce capital gains taxes. And now he refuses to endorse President Trump.

I personally support and endorse President Trump, 100%. He’s doing a great job curbing illegal immigration, defeating ISIS, and delivering tax breaks to the entire country.  He needs a second term to accomplish even more.

Send me to Washington to work with President Trump to make that happen. Let me take on the DC establishment and career politicians who won’t stand with our President.

 

Hagerty camp touts McConnell endorsement, says he’s under attack by ‘liberal media’

Bill Hagerty attends the Tennessee Republican Party’s Statesmen’s Dinner in Nashville on June 15, 2019. At right is U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood). (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Newly announced U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty says in a fundraising appeal that he’s been endorsed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and that he’s already under attack by “Washington Democrats and their media allies.”

Hagerty had long been expected to get into the race, especially once President Donald Trump announced his endorsement while he was still U.S. ambassador to Japan. Vanderbilt surgeon Manny Sethi had previously been the only major Republican in the race to succeed retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Maryville).

Hagerty’s formal entry into the race hasn’t stirred too much attention in the national media. For example, the Washington Post and New York Times both used the AP’s account out of the Nashville and haven’t written anything further. Politico wrote its own account.

The Tennessean ran what it deemed an exclusive interview with Hagerty on the day of his announcement, but the campaign had been scooped in declaring its launch by enterprising Nashville Scene reporter Stephen Elliott, who spotted Hagerty’s Federal Election Commission filing earlier in the day. Otherwise, there’s not been a ton of media attention — good or bad — to Hagerty or the Tennessee Senate race.

Nevertheless, the Hagerty email calls it critical for the candidate to post a large fundraising haul to “prove the liberal media talking heads wrong.”

Here’s the email from the Hagerty campaign:

Friend,

Bill Hagerty announced his campaign for U.S. Senate this week, and he’s already been endorsed by President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Join President Trump and Mitch by making a generous donation right now.

Trump and Mitch know that Bill Hagerty is a strong conservative who we can count on to stand up to the Democrats’ radical socialist agenda. And that’s why Washington Democrats and their media allies are already attacking Bill.

We have to send a message that we have his back. It’s CRITICAL that Bill posts the biggest fundraising haul possible to prove the liberal media talking heads wrong.

SEND A MESSAGE TO THE LIBERAL MEDIA

[…]

Thank you for your support.
Team Hagerty

UPDATE: The Sethi campaign is denouncing the McConnell endorsement. Here’s the release:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Republican Senate candidate and conservative outsider Manny Sethi’s campaign released the following statement on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s endorsement of Ambassador Bill Hagerty for Senate.

“Today, Mitch McConnell–the same guy who brought us runaway spending, failed to repeal ObamaCare and not building the Wall–joined Mitt Romney today, endorsing moderate Ambassador Bill Hagerty,” said Chris Devaney, Campaign Chairman and Senior Advisor.

“Tennesseans want a conservative outsider like Manny Sethi—and we don’t want Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney, or any other member of the DC Establishment ‘Death Star’ telling us who to vote for.”

Sethi on Hagerty’s entry into Senate race: It’s on.

Vanderbilt surgeon Manny Sethi in a fundraising email welcomes former U.S. Ambassador Bill Hagerty to the U.S. Senate race, casting himself as the “conservative outsider” versus the “consummate insider.”

The race is now set, and the choice is all the more clear: a political insider, close friend of Mitt Romney, and the choice of the professional political class versus the true conservative outsider who has lived the American Dream in Tennessee.

It’s the consummate insider, versus the conservative outsider.

Like President Trump, I’m a conservative outsider, taking on the establishment, but I can’t do it alone.

The challenge for Sethi will be to try to somehow drive a wedge between Hagerty and his endorsement from Trump without alienating the president’s supporters in the Republican primary.