The Trousdale County Republican Party welcomed U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty as guest speaker to its inaugural fundraiser dinner Saturday evening.

Around 100 guests attended the event, which TCRP chair Rachel Jones deemed a success.

“I’m very pleased with the turnout for our first event,” she said. “We raised over $2,000.”

Among the elected officials in attendance were U.S. Rep. John Rose, State Sen. Ferrell Haile and Circuit Court Judge Michael Collins.

In his remarks, Hagerty addressed the vacancy on the Supreme Court and said it represented an opportunity for Republicans.

“It underscores how critical some of the decisions we’re going to make on Nov. 3 will be,” Hagerty said. “We’re going to vote for someone who will put constitutionalist judges on the bench that won’t legislate, but will interpret and follow the law.”

Hagerty also spoke on efforts to rebuild the U.S. economy and touted his own experience as a businessman and as U.S. Ambassador to Japan.

“We need to get government out of the way to make our economy grow. I’ll take that knowledge to Washington,” he said.

Making America less dependent on China and bringing jobs back to the U.S. was another area Hagerty said he wanted to focus on if elected.

Hagerty spoke on efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that there were a number of vaccines currently in Phase 3 (human trials) of development.

“We can have a vaccine cleared by the FDA in the next month or so. I’m very optimistic that we’re going to put this behind us.”

Before the dinner, Hagerty spoke with The Vidette and said he felt the campaign was going well.

“We’re getting our message out: Tennessee values are conservative values,” he said. “People want to see those values in the Senate and I’m looking forward to delivering that if the voters are with me.”

Asked about a second stimulus bill to boost the U.S. economy, Hagerty blamed Senate Democrats for blocking a bill but did not address the House-backed bill that has not come up for a vote in the Senate.

“Democrats voted unanimously against it, along with Rand Paul,” Hagerty said. “That would have been another bridge on unemployment, an extension of PPP loans, money for our schools to get them reopened, more money for vaccines.

“These are priorities I think everyone shares. When I hopefully get elected, I’ll work very hard to get those passed.”

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-450-5756 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.

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