Hagerty, Bradshaw to meet in November Senate race

By , Daily Memphian Updated: August 07, 2020 12:33 AM CT | Published: August 06, 2020 8:36 PM CT

Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty will meet Memphis environmental activist Marquita Bradshaw in the November general election for U.S. Senate.

<strong>Marquita Bradshaw</strong>

Marquita Bradshaw

Hagerty beat Vanderbilt trauma surgeon Dr. Manny Sethi handily statewide and in Shelby County.

The race that was considered one of the most hotly contested in the country among Republicans was called in the statewide primary an hour after the polls closed in Shelby County. 

About an hour later, AP called the Democratic Senate primary for Bradshaw, over four other contenders including Robin Kimbrough and Nashville attorney James Mackler.

By the unofficial statewide vote totals at 9 p.m., Bradshaw had 36.5% of the vote to 26.3% for Kimbrough and 23% for Mackler.

<strong>John Gillespie</strong>

John Gillespie

The unofficial Shelby County totals with all precincts reporting were:

  • Hagerty 23,855
  • Sethi 11,116
  • Flinn 5,357

The statewide totals showed Hagerty with 51% of the statewide vote to Sethi’s 39% in the 15-candidate primary with Memphian Dr. George Flinn a distant third with 3.4%

The Shelby County Democratic results were:

  • Bradshaw 34,507
  • Kimbrough 19,558
  • Mackler 12,218

Shortly after the call by AP, Sethi conceded the primary that polls showed was much closer that the total indicated as soon as the first statewide returns were posted shortly after the polling places closed Thursday across the state.


At his victory party in Gallatin, Hagerty ran through a checklist of causes he will support if elected.

“I will stand up against radical Islamic terrorism and call it what it is and with this team here I look forward to standing up to China,” he told cheering supporters in an excerpt posted on Facebook.

On stage with Hagerty were U.S. Sens. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who campaigned with him in the closing weeks of the campaign as President Donald Trump repeated his early endorsement of Hagerty several times over.

“We’ve got to stand up to the radicals in Washington who want to push us off the cliff into socialism,” Hagerty said.

In the Democratic primary, Bradshaw upset Mackler, the only contender in the field of five who had raised more than $1 million, a threshold considered necessary to wage a successful statewide campaign in Tennessee.

Mackler instead finished third two years after he passed on a bid for the Senate Democratic nomination and bowed out in favor of former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen. Bredesen lost the general election to Blackburn.

Meaningful news delivered to you each week

Coverage of the key happenings in our city including city hall, elections, and more.

Manage Your Email Subscriptions


Bill Hagerty Manny Sethi Lamar Alexander Marquita Bradshaw

Bill Dries

Bill Dries covers city government and politics. He is a native Memphian and has been a reporter for more than 40 years.


Reading comments and joining the conversation are some of the many benefits of subscribing. Join the conversation by clicking the View Comments button below. Not a subscriber? Click here. 

Our commenting policy can be viewed here

Meaningful news delivered to you each week

Coverage of the key happenings in our city including city hall, elections, and more.

Manage Your Email Subscriptions