NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has endorsed Republican Bill Hagerty in Tennessee’s U.S. Senate race.

Blackburn, who was elected as Tennessee’s first female senator in 2018, said Hagerty is a true conservative who will fight for Tennesseans.

“I fully support Bill Hagerty for the United States Senate, because I need a true Tennessee conservative to stand with me to protect our Tennessee values,” Blackburn said in a statement. “Bill is a true conservative, and he will always fight for Tennesseans.”

The senator also criticized Hagerty’s primary opponent, fellow Republican Manny Sethi.

“Manny’s friends – and personally picked board members – supported Phil Bredesen and publicly wrongly attacked me during the 2018 election,” Blackburn said. “He stood by and did nothing – they remain on the board of his ‘policy think tank’ to this day and were not held accountable for their accusations. He wanted to work in the Obama, Biden White House, defended and supported Obamacare, and gave to ActBlue, which is bankrolling the Marxist BLM movement. Tennesseans can’t afford to send someone who is conveniently conservative to be a Republican and consistently supports President Trump when it’s politically convenient. Bill is the consistently conservative choice. Join me and President Trump in supporting Bill Hagerty for Senate.”

President Donald Trump endorsed Hagerty before he had even announced he was running for Senate. Hagerty served as ambassador to Japan under Trump. He was also Trump’s Tennessee Victory Chair during the 2016 presidential race and was named to the president’s transition team following the election.

Blackburn was also endorsed by the president during her Senate bid.

The primary election for Tennessee’s U.S. Senate race will be held Aug. 6. Early voting is underway through Aug. 1.

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