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Tennessee Republicans battle to fill Lamar Alexander’s Senate seat

Tennessee Republicans battle to fill Lamar Alexander’s Senate seat

by Associated Press  |  Published on August 6, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Election Day in pandemic times has arrived in Tennessee, where voters on Thursday will decide a heated Republican U.S. Senate primary and other federal and state contests.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty and trauma surgeon Manny Sethi are competing to become the GOP nominee in the race to replace retiring Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander.

President Donald Trump has thrown his support behind Hagerty, who has contended that Sethi wasn’t a good enough advocate for Trump during the 2016 election. Sethi has countered by describing himself as a conservative “outsider” and criticizing Hagerty as a part of the “political establishment.”

On the Democratic side, party leaders facing a tough climb for the seat long held by Republicans have endorsed former Army helicopter pilot and military prosecutor James Mackler over a handful of other candidates. If he wins the primary, it’s expected to be a challenge, considering Republicans have held both of Tennessee’s Senate seats since 1994.

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