politico

Politico: Tennessee’s Senate primary ‘nastiest’ in nation

Tennessee’s Republican primary for the U.S Senate between Bill Hagerty and Manny Sethi is the “nastiest” in the nation, according to a report by Politico

Here’s an excerpt:

Hagerty largely ignored Sethi most of the race — seemingly confident of his lead which his internal polls had at 17 points — until earlier this month, when he abruptly went on the offensive. His recent campaign speeches and interviews are chock-full of attack lines. His campaign has dubiously accused Sethi of donating money to a group “bankrolling these rioters” in an ad with a wounded veteran telling voters that Sethi can’t be trusted to defend the flag.

And Hagerty has been repeatedly mispronouncing Sethi’s name as “Set-ee” instead of “Seth-ee” a year into the race, even in response to reporter questions with the correct pronunciation. Hagerty told POLITICO it was inadvertent, and he didn’t know which pronunciation Sethi, the son of Indian immigrants, prefers.

“Bill Hagerty is Thurston Howell III without the charm,” said Jordan Gehrke, Sethi’s senior strategist, comparing Hagerty to the out-of-touch millionaire in the ’70s-era sitcom “Gilligan’s Island.” “He’s desperate. He should be.”

[…]

On mispronouncing Sethi’s last name on the stump, Hagerty says the slight is unintentional.

“I’m just not sure what his preferred pronunciation is, but there’s nothing underlying it,” Hagerty said.