Bill Hagerty, who is running for the US Senate in 2020 as a Republican, spoke to a packed room of local, state, community and business leaders Friday afternoon at the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, sharing about his background, addressing various issues, and responding to questions.
A Gallatin native with an extensive background in business, Hagerty has served as Tennessee’s Commissioner of Economic Development, a senior leader of President Donald Trump’s transition team, and as the US ambassador to Japan.
As Hagerty pointed out, Trump has endorsed his senatorial bid.
Hagerty clearly identified himself as a Christian conservative.
“I will stand up for conservative Tennessee values,” he said, “and I will stand against this liberal socialist agenda. The freedom and values we cherish are under attack. Socialism is not what we want for our children.”
Hagerty said he stands with Trump on strong border security, the sanctity of human life and the right to life for the unborn, and the necessity of a strong military and strong foreign policy.
“I will work my heart out every day to make sure our lives are better and to uphold our values,” he said.
When Hagerty opened up the room for questions and comments, McKenzie Mayor Jill Holland said she appreciates his support of the president’s agenda, adding that she is tired of a lot of Republicans “fence-sitting” and making too much about Trump’s personality or his style of leadership.
“I think you are heading in the right direction,” said Holland.
“I worked closely with the president on his cabinet. I can get things done, and I can work with the president,” said Hagerty. “And if I disagree with something, I won’t be tweeting about it or going on TV. I’ll talk to him.”
Huntingdon Mayor Dale Kelley also expressed his support for Hagerty.
“I’ve always felt you were destined for other things,” said Kelley. “You haven’t changed your view over the years, and you speak to the attitudes of our people directly. That’s why I support you wholeheartedly.”
Hagerty engaged in discussions on many other issues, including mental health, the opioid crisis, bringing back American jobs from other countries, and improving the state’s technology infrastructure.