In 2014 I ran for the United States Senate against well-known and established incumbent Lamar Alexander. Our underfunded and understaffed campaign garnered over 271,000 votes. The largest vote total of any statewide campaign to that point and not win an election. When we lost in 2014, I thought it was over. I was wrong! We were just getting started.
Fast forward to 2020 and Tennessee once again can send a constitutional conservative to the United States Senate to stand alongside President Donald Trump. Dr. Manny Sethi is that man.
My journey to supporting Dr. Sethi was neither immediate nor sure. I took a long time evaluating the candidates. I had numerous conversations with both Bill Hagerty and Dr. Manny Sethi over a period of several months. I was humbled by the fact that both men not only sought my endorsement and support but advice as well. So, I took my time.
Bill Hagerty has the endorsement, support, and power of the GOP Establishment behind him with Senator Alexander and former Governor Haslam working for him. I think that is the wrong answer. Contrast that with who Dr. Manny Sethi is his life story and who is on his team, the decision was not difficult even though it took me a while. I
found through my lengthy evaluation process that Dr. Sethi is honorable, trustworthy, and most importantly like President Trump, he is a fighter.
Early on I was leaning toward Hagerty and indeed I might have endorsed him. However, there were some things I could not reconcile with who Bill Hagerty said he was. For instance, if he was so committed to Donald Trump why was devout Never Trumper Bill Haslam (Bill Haslam led the Never Trump movement in Tennessee) an integral part of his campaign? If Bill Hagerty was such a strong conservative, why was Senator Alexander (with a 15% conservative score) raising money for him? If Bill Hagerty was not part of the political establishment, why did Mitch McConnell endorse him? If Bill Hagerty and Mitt Romney were not such close friends, why did Mitt Romney say in a Wall Street Journal article that he would “love it” if Hagerty would run? If Bill
Hagerty has always been a loyal Republican, then why did he donate $1,000 to Al Gore’s presidential Campaign? Lastly and very importantly; why did Bill Hagerty as Tennessee Commissioner of
Economic and Community Development oppose every single one of my illegal immigration bills when I was in the Tennessee General Assembly? Most especially the nation’s first state E-Verify law?
After those questions came additional questions of integrity. If Bill Hagerty was so appalled by all the rioting and looting by Marxist
Groups, why did Bill Hagerty sit on the Board of Directors of a company for nine years knowing full well that the company, R.J. O’Brien, was involved in supporting and promoting liberal causes and the Marxist group Black Lives Matter? Bill Hagerty refused to answer questions like this. Every answer to every question was “I have the president’s endorsement”. Bill Hagerty never answered the questions for me about Haslam, Lamar, Romney, McConnell, or R.J. O’Brien and to my knowledge those questions have never been answered.
By contrast my conversations with Manny Sethi were completely different. Every question I had; I received a direct answer from Manny. I asked Manny about his $50 contribution to Act Blue. His response was that it was not a contribution to Act Blue but $50 he and his wife sent to a family friend who asked. My research found his answer to be true. Act Blue, like the Republican counterpart Win Red is a credit card processing company.
I asked Manny if he supported Obamacare because a badly spliced video seems to imply that he did. I got another straight answer. He said the video was spliced to take what he said completely out of context and that there is a 2016 video interview available outlining his views on the need to repeal Obamacare. There is also a 2017 President Trump White House video explaining the same thing.
I asked Manny about his application for a White House job when Barack Obama was president. Again, another straight answer. The “job” in question is a White House Fellow. A White House Fellow is a non-partisan position that is awarded to individuals based on their professional expertise. During the Obama presidency Bill Hagerty worked for the Obama White House in a similar capacity selecting candidates for the same White House Fellowship.
The fact is this race is a once in a generational opportunity for constitutional conservatives who believe in Trump’s vision for Tennessee and America to make a difference. Whether it is advancing
the Pro-Life ideals, defending the 2nd Amendment, advocating for a smaller less intrusive federal government, repealing Obamacare or any other of the myriad of conservative issues. Dr. Manny Sethi has always been a consistent and reliable advocate for the vision of the Founding Fathers. Politics in Tennessee unfortunately is too often an insider’s game, where the establishment candidate always wins. I am proud to continue the fight against the machine we started in 2014 by endorsing Dr. Manny Sethi for the United States Senate. Please join me.
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