NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Middle Tennessee Republican Bill Hagerty is in the process of resigning as U.S. Ambassador to Japan so he can run for the U.S. Senate seat that will soon be vacated by Sen. Lamar Alexander, but we won’t be hearing much from him until at least next week.
President Trump rocked Tennessee’s political world last Friday with a tweet backing Hagerty for the seat even though several other top Tennessee Republicans had indicated an interest in running.
Hagerty spent four years as former Governor Bill Haslam’s Commissioner of Economic and Community Development before becoming an early fundraiser for then-candidate Trump.
Conservative commentator and longtime Hagerty friend, Steve Gill says, the ambassador can’t talk yet about his senate candidacy.
“Bill and I have been friends for 26 years,” Gill told News 2. “He cannot talk about a campaign under federal rules and regulations and he is not going to violate the law.”
Gill says Hagerty must follow a complicated way of resigning from the State Department.
He has submitted a letter of resignation, and typically, you would think that would be enough, but in the state department, you must complete a series of exit interviews — so it will be another week or so until he is officially resigned from his ambassadorship.
Only then might we hear something from the president’s candidate for US Senate in Tennessee.
Republican Senate candidate Manny Sethi wasted no time in responding to last Friday’s presidential tweet.
In his own tweet, the Vanderbilt doctor said, “Tennesseans will have a clear choice in this campaign.”