BREAKING: Former Governor Bill Haslam Will Not Run for U.S. Senate

Tennesse Star
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Former Gov. Bill Haslam announced on Thursday morning that he will not seek the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in Tennessee to replace Sen. Lamar Alexander, who announced earlier this year he will not be seeking re-election in 2020.

The news came in an exclusive letter to the USA Today Network in Tennessee, the details of which were published in The Tennessean on Thursday morning:

For the second time in 21 months , Gov. Bill Haslam has declined to run for the U.S. Senate, the Knoxville Republican said in an exclusive letter submitted to the USA TODAY Network-Tennessee.

The former governor’s decision, which came after U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander said in December he will not seek reelection in 2020, immediately bolsters the chances of a contested Republican primary.

“While I think serving in the United States Senate would be a great privilege and responsibility, I have come to the conclusion that it is not my calling for the next period of my life,” Haslam, 60, said in the letter.

“This is a difficult decision because I have loved my time in public service and I believe so deeply in the importance of our political process.”

Haslam’s decision breaks up the log jam keeping other major candidates out of the race.

Vanderbilt surgeon Manni Sethi has already announced his candidacy, but he is an inexperienced candidate with little public record and uncertain funding.

Two heavy hitters have been mentioned as possible candidates for the Republican nomination: Bill Hagerty, currently the U.S. Ambassador to Japan and Rep. Mark Green (R-TN-07), who succeeded Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) in the Congressional seat that stretches from Clarksville to Franklin.

Hagerty, who served previously as former Gov. Haslam’s Director of Economic Development, has ties to both the Tennessee Republican establishment and the Trump administration. A successful and wealthy investment banker, Hagerty was in charge of fundraising for the 2016 Trump campaign and headed up the Trump transition team.

Rep. Green has a strong base among Tennessee conservatives, and has been a very effective supporter of the Trump agenda since winning his seat in Congress in the November 2018 midterm elections.

Both Hagerty and Green are now expected to determine in the next few weeks whether they will enter the race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.




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11 Thoughts to “BREAKING: Former Governor Bill Haslam Will Not Run for U.S. Senate”

  1. […] who announced earlier this year he will not be seeking re-election in 2020, The Tennessee Star reported at the […]

  2. […] has previously announced his candidacy for Alexander’s seat. Former Gov. Bill Haslam recently said he would not run for the […]

  3. CCW

    OK, Diane Black, Saddle up! True conservative, experience in handling the ways of DC government or lack thereof.

    1. Pandora

      She would be FANTASTIC!

    2. David

      Diane shouldn’t run for anything.
      She was a “Never Trumper”, until he carried Tennessee by 36 points. Then she had a “conversion”.
      She is just an unprincipled politician.

  4. […] announcement came just hours after former Gov. Bill Haslam announced that he will not be running for the U.S. Senate in […]

  5. Iris Rhunae

    Someone needs to take her from her Congressional seat. She’s a traitor, and will do anything to take us all down.

  6. William R. Delzell

    Had Bill Haslam chosen to enter the Republican Primary, I am concerned that he would not have the backbone to stand up to the extreme right-wing of the G.O.P. I have this concern because as governor, Haslam passed up several opportunities to stand up to the social bigots within the Tennessee legislature over issues like police accountability, gay/lesbian rights, race relations, affordable health care, environmental protection, and the whole gamut. The Republican Party needs strong progressives who can say no to the warmongers and bigots who have taken over the G.O.P. Haslam does not have what it takes to stand up to Green and his fellow thugs. We need a Republican who can AND will stand up to the party and restore its old moderate pre-Goldwater roots!

    1. 83ragtop50

      I agree with you that Haslam has no backbone but for the direct opposite reason… . He proved repeatedly to be a doormat for liberals in Tennessee who are in the process of trying to turn Tennessee into a California type environment.

  7. not2day

    Haslam NOT running is GOOD news. If elected he would be another RINO just like Alexander.