Bill Hagerty wins U.S. Senate seat, defeating Marquita Bradshaw

hagerty victory speech
Posted at 7:06 PM, Nov 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-04 08:38:13-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Bill Hagerty beat Marquita Bradshaw for Tennessee's U.S. Senate seat, replacing Lamar Alexander, according to the Associated Press.

Hagerty was endorsed by President Donald Trump early in his campaign.

He defeated Bradshaw, who was the first Black woman nominated for statewide office by either major political party in Tennessee. He also heavily outspent her. According to their October filings, Hagerty raised nearly $15 million over the election cycle - most of which he spent in the primary.

Bradshaw raised $918,251. Hagerty ran on issues including confirming constitutional judges, standing with law enforcement officers and illegal immigration. From 2011 to 2014, Bill served as commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee congratulated the Hagerty on his win.

During a victory speech, Hagerty said this win is the greatest honor of his life. He told the crowd he will stand for life and with law enforcement.

"Thank you to the voters of Tennessee for your trust and confidence in me. It’s a true honor to serve this state we call home," said Hagerty. "Tonight, the people of Tennessee chose Tennessee values, conservative values, over socialism. America is the most exceptional nation in the world - a nation that rewards hard work and ingenuity - and Tennessee is its most exceptional state. I will work alongside Senator Blackburn to make sure every Tennessean has the same opportunity to live out the American dream. I will stand up for our freedoms; freedom of religion, of speech, our second amendment rights and most importantly, the right to life. I will fight for a prosperous America for everyone, and I’ll fight to keep every Tennessean -- and every American -- safe and secure."

Watch Hagerty's speech, as well as remarks from other Tennessee lawmakers, below:

From 2017 to 2019 he served as the United States Ambassador to Japan. Republicans have held both Senate seats in Tennessee since 1994.

Though Hagerty took more than 60% of the votes, Bradshaw says she is not dropping out of the race.

“So this is not a concession speech. It is on a principle of democracy that we will fight until every last vote is counted,” said Bradshaw.

Bradshaw's campaign filed a lawsuit against the Secretary of State and Coordinator of Elections, claiming officials withheld records that would tell which voters had not returned their absentee ballots.

A judge found that there was not enough evidence Bradshaw's campaign submitted a proper public records request for the information.