Bill Hagerty, the former United States ambassador to Japan and Gallatin native, has officially launched his bid for Congress.
In a nearly two-minute video posted online Monday, Hagerty confirmed he is running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee).
The announcement comes nearly two months after President Donald Trump tweeted his “Complete & Total Endorsement” of Hagerty’s campaign in July.
“I’ve worked to bring jobs to Tennessee, and I’ll join President Trump’s fight to lower taxes, reduce regulatory red tape and restore business confidence in America,” Hagerty said in the video. “I know how our economy works and I will work with President Trump to create even more opportunity for hard working Tennesseans.”
Following a long career in the private sector, Hagerty served as the commissioner of economic development for Tennessee from 2011 until 2015. He then went on to serve as the Tennessee Victory Chair during Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign before becoming a senior leader on Trump’s transition team.
In July 2017, Hagerty was sworn in as the 42nd U.S. ambassador to Japan.
In his campaign announcement video Monday, the “proud pro-life father of four” said he decided to step down from the position after two years and run for Congress to “fight back against” the “Democrats’ socialist agenda.”
Hagerty added that he will vote to confirm Supreme Court justices like Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh and will “help President Trump strengthen our military, support our police, fight back against illegal immigration and build the wall.”
“In the coming months, we’re going to be working hard and traveling to every corner of our beautiful state to earn your trust,” Hagerty said in a prepared statement. “If you’re looking for a conservative family man with real experience, who will stand with President Trump, we’re running this campaign for you.”
Hagerty will face off with Nashville orthopedic trauma surgeon Manny Sethi in the Republican primary next year. James Mackler, a former prosecutor, defense attorney and U.S. Army veteran, is the only Democrat in the race so far.
Tennessee state and federal primary elections will take place on Aug. 6, 2020. State and federal general elections will be held on Nov. 3, 2020.