Jeff Webb Explains His Endorsement for Manny Sethi as Tennessee Senator


Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Varsity Brands Creator and Memphis Entrepreneur Jeff Webb to the newsmakers line.

During the third hour, Webb discussed his motivation for the recent endorsement of Tennessee Senate candidate Dr. Manny Sethi. He noted that although both candidates were on the same side of the issues, Sethi would be the senator that would go to bat for small businesses.

Leahy: We are with our good friend Jeff Webb. It’s kind of fun to be broadcasting live from (Webb laughs) our studios on Music Row, isn’t it?

Webb: Nashville is just going crazy. Great studio. Great neighborhood. Nashville is just going crazy.

Leahy: Isn’t that a great feeling.

Webb: It’s just amazing.

Leahy: I will say this. Texas is a wonderful place. Oklahoma is a nice place. But the best state there is no question the best state in the entire United States of America is income tax-free Tennessee.

Webb: It’s a great place. It’s got so much to offer for everybody. It’s a tremendous place.

Leahy: So we’ve asked you to come in here in the studio to talk about your endorsement of Dr. Manny Sethi. And for our listeners, our objective here at The Tennessee Star and on the web at and The Tennessee Star Report is to give our listeners and our readers information on these two candidates and let them make up their own mind.

Dr. Manny Sethi and Bill Hagerty who is the former ambassador to Japan. You were looking at these two candidates. I think you said that they are very similar on the issues. But there was one particular issue that really caught your attention and that kind of made you decide that you would endorse Dr. Manny Sethi. Tell us about that issue.

Webb: It was the endorsement of the US Chamber of Commerce of Bill Hagerty. And even beyond the endorsement when I saw the Hagerty campaign take that and make an entire commercial about it and talk about how important this was that the US Chamber of Commerce had endorsed him. As a guy who started with a very small company and built that company over the years, and I’m in touch with so many small business people in our state and really around the country.

The US Chamber of Commerce is not a friend of small business. They represent big business. And many times they are hurtful as far as a small business is concerned. I’d been looking at Manny’s background and at Bill Hagerty’s background. And Hagerty’s more big company and big politics. Involved with Mitt Romney for so many years. And that didn’t feel right.

But the commercial with the Chamber of Commerce just said it all to me. And at that point, I thought you know what we really need is somebody who’s a small business background. Which really Manny does. His parents came here and set up shop as two physicians in our state which was a small business. Growing up the way he did and what he’s accomplished.

The type of leader he can be and then you contrast that again with Bill Hagerty’s experience which has been big companies. Boston Consulting Group. I just think that Manny is a friend of small business. A friend of everyday Tennesseans and really has the kind of background and the kind of skill set that will make him a great senator for all of us.

Leahy: You talked about the US Chamber of Commerce. People may think of the US Chamber of Commerce and the local Chamber of Commerce. Do you see a difference between those two?

Webb: Totally different. In most cases, the local Chamber of Commerce in towns and cities really is dedicated to all of the businesses in their particular municipality. The US Chamber of Commerce not so much. It’s open borders. It’s going for unlimited immigration. It’s just strictly representing big business. And again usually to the disadvantage of small business. Over half of the people in this country and over half of our GNP comes from small business.

The great majority of people in this country work for small businesses. Not for big companies and not for big corporations. And believe me, I’ve seen it in my career, those big corporations have special deals that they are able to cut through their lobbyists and with Congress and with the bureaucrats in Washington.

Those of us that have built small businesses don’t have those advantages. they can fight for themselves. We need somebody fighting for small business and everyday citizens. And I think that’s really what separates Manny from Bill Hagerty.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Manny Sethi” by Manny Sethi.







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