Bill Hagerty rides Trump support to Senate GOP primary win in Tennessee

Bill Hagerty speaks after winning GOP Senate primary in Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMC) - Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty has won the Tennessee Republican primary for an open U.S. Senate seat behind the endorsement of President Donald Trump.

Hagerty overcame a challenge from trauma surgeon Manny Sethi to clinch his party’s nomination for the seat of retiring Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander.

Hagerty ignored Sethi for most of the campaign, but in recent weeks the two brawled back-and-forth in TV ads over who was more conservative and loyal to Trump.

“We all know China unleashed this pandemic on the world, on our nation and on this state,” Hagerty said Thursday night in Nashville. “We’ve had loved ones who have lost their lives and had many more that have lost their jobs. The time has come to hold them to account. I look forward to doing just that. I know how to hit China where it hurts. I want to make ‘Made in the USA’ the theme of America again.'

Marquita Bradshaw, Bill Hagerty to face off in Tennessee Senate race

Republicans have held both Tennessee Senate seats since 1994.

Hagerty will face the winner of the Democratic primary in the November election.

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