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Bill Hagerty

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Bill Hagerty
Official portrait, 2021
United States Senator
from Tennessee
Assumed office
January 3, 2021
Serving with Marsha Blackburn
Preceded byLamar Alexander
30th United States Ambassador to Japan
In office
August 31, 2017 – July 22, 2019
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byCaroline Kennedy
Succeeded byRahm Emanuel
Tennessee Commissioner of
Economic and Community Development
In office
February 14, 2011 – June 6, 2014
GovernorBill Haslam
Preceded byMatt Kisber
Succeeded byRandy Boyd
Personal details
William Francis Hagerty IV

(1959-08-14) August 14, 1959 (age 64)
Gallatin, Tennessee, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Chrissy Hagerty
(m. 2001)
EducationVanderbilt University (BA, JD)
WebsiteSenate Website

William Francis Hagerty IV (/ˈhæɡərti/ HAG-ər-tee; born August 14, 1959) is an American politician, businessman, and diplomat serving as the junior United States senator from Tennessee since 2021. A member of the Republican Party, he served as the 30th United States ambassador to Japan from 2017 to 2019 under President Donald Trump.

Hagerty worked as an economic advisor and White House fellow under President George H. W. Bush. He then began a career in private equity. Hagerty is the co-founder of Hagerty Peterson & Company, a private equity investment firm; he is a former managing director of the firm. From 2011 to 2014, Hagerty served as commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. He led a successful effort to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to Nashville. President Donald Trump nominated Hagerty to serve as U.S. ambassador to Japan on March 27, 2017; he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 13, 2017, in an 86–12 vote. Hagerty was sworn in as the 30th United States ambassador to Japan on July 27, 2017; he resigned in July 2019 to run for the U.S. Senate.

Hagerty ran in the 2020 election for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Lamar Alexander. He won the Republican primary and defeated Democratic nominee Marquita Bradshaw in the general election.

Early life and education[edit]

Hagerty is a native of Gallatin, in Sumner County, Tennessee. He became an Eagle Scout, and was awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award in 2017.[1] He is a 1977 graduate of Madisonville North Hopkins High School in Kentucky.[2] He earned a Bachelor of Arts in economics and business administration in 1981 from Vanderbilt University and a Juris Doctor from Vanderbilt Law School in 1984.[3][4]


Hagerty (right) and members of the National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America with President George W. Bush in 2006

Hagerty began his career at Boston Consulting Group, culminating in a three-year assignment to Tokyo.[3] He was an economic advisor and White House Fellow in the administration of President George H. W. Bush[5] and then began a career in private equity, initially at Trident Capital in Silicon Valley. Hagerty is the co-founder of Hagerty Peterson & Company, a private equity investment firm; he is a former managing director of the firm.[6] He served as a national finance chair for Mitt Romney's 2008 presidential campaign.[7]

From 2011 to 2014, Hagerty served as commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development in the cabinet of Governor Bill Haslam, where he played a role in investments by Bridgestone, Calsonic Kansei (now Magneti Marelli), and Nissan in Tennessee.[8]

Hagerty has served on the board of CyMed, NEW Customer Services, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Ryman Hospitality, Pinnacle Financial Partners, and R.J. O'Brien.[9]

Nashville MLS Steering Committee[edit]

Before his confirmation as U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Hagerty founded and led the Nashville MLS Steering Committee, a coalition seeking to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to Nashville, Tennessee. The effort was successful, with Nashville being officially selected and named the first of two new MLS expansion markets on December 20, 2017. Nashville SC debuted in the 2020 MLS season.[10][11][12][13]

2016 presidential election[edit]

During the early stages of the 2016 presidential election, Hagerty was nominated to serve on the ballot as a delegate for Jeb Bush. Bush dropped out of the race before the Tennessee primary on March 1, 2016.[14] After the Tennessee primary, Hagerty served as Trump Victory Chair for Tennessee. After Trump became the Republican nominee, he was selected in August 2016 as director of appointments for Trump's presidential transition team.[15][16]

United States Ambassador to Japan[edit]

Hagerty and family with Donald and Melania Trump in the ambassadorial residence in 2019

Trump nominated Hagerty to be the United States Ambassador to Japan on March 27, 2017.[17] He was confirmed by the United States Senate on July 13, 2017, in an 86–12 vote.[18][19] He was sworn in as the 30th U.S. Ambassador on July 27, 2017.[20][21]

Before his confirmation, Hagerty was reportedly also under consideration for United States Trade Representative, based on his prior international trade and U.S. foreign investment experience.[22][23] The job eventually went to Robert Lighthizer, an attorney and former Reagan Administration official.

On July 16, 2019, Hagerty announced that he would resign as Ambassador to Japan to run for the Senate.[24]

U.S. Senate[edit]


Final results by county
Final results by county in 2020:
  Bill Hagerty
  •   80–90%
  •   70–80%
  •   60–70%
  •   50–60%
  •   60–70%
  •   50–60%

In December 2018, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander announced that he would not run for a fourth term.[25] When asked about possible successors, Alexander named Hagerty and former governor Bill Haslam as the "most obvious" candidates.[26] On July 11, 2019, Haslam announced that he would not run for the Senate.[27] The next day, Trump tweeted that Hagerty would resign as ambassador to Japan to run for the open Senate seat. In the same tweet, Trump endorsed Hagerty for Senate.[28][29][30] Hagerty was mentioned as a potential U.S. secretary of state during the same period.[31]

Hagerty officially launched his Senate campaign in September 2019.[32] By the end of the month, he had raised $1.9 million for his campaign.[33] By April 6, Hagerty had raised more than $7 million, with $1.2 million raised in the first quarter of 2020.[34] Speakers at Hagerty campaign fundraisers included Donald Trump Jr., Kimberly Guilfoyle,[35] and Nikki Haley.[36]

Beginning in late May 2020, news outlets began circulating an article, originally published by Roger Sollenberger in Salon, discussing allegations of campaign finance misconduct by Hagerty.[37] The article focused largely on a loan given to the Hagerty Campaign by Pinnacle Financial Partners almost immediately following the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.[38]

Hagerty's congressional campaign logo, used during the 2020 election

On August 6, 2020, Hagerty won the Republican primary.[39][40] He defeated Democratic nominee Marquita Bradshaw in the November general election,[41][42] 1,840,926 votes to 1,040,691.[43] Hagerty took office on January 3, 2021.[44][45]

Senate tenure[edit]

Hagerty initially planned to object to certifying the 2021 United States Electoral College vote count over unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. But after Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, he changed his mind and voted to certify the count.[46][47] On May 28, 2021, Hagerty voted against creating an independent commission to investigate the Capitol attack.[48]

In August 2021, Hagerty used a procedural maneuver to grind the final vote on the $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to a halt, citing the expense and the upcoming $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill.[49] His actions drew the ire of both Democratic and Republican senators, with Democrats accusing Hagerty of doing Trump's bidding and Republicans such as Mitt Romney and Kevin Cramer showing frustration.[50]


Political positions[edit]

Hagerty is a self-described conservative.[51] His views have been characterized as populist and in line with Trump's political views.[52]

During his 2020 Senate campaign, Hagerty resigned from the board of futures brokerage R.J. O'Brien & Associates after an opponent claimed the firm was donating money to the Black Lives Matter Foundation,[53] an organization of which Hagerty is critical. He was also called "entitled" for acquiring a $2.5 million loan to his campaign from Pinnacle Bank (where he had formerly been a director) at a time when small businesses were having difficulty getting federal stimulus loans during the COVID-19 pandemic.[54]

Hagerty supports the death penalty for people convicted of engaging in human trafficking acts.[55] He believes that Sharia Law is a national security threat to the U.S. and that the U.S. should continue to support Israel.[56][57] Hagerty supports reducing taxes and supports enacting a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States.[56] He opposes raising the federal minimum wage.[58] Hagerty opposes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and believes that the federal government should reduce its involvement in health care.[59] He supports efforts to prevent the closure of rural hospitals.[58] Hagerty supports increased investment and development of fossil fuels, and supports repealing renewable energy and energy efficiency standards.[59] He also supports American energy independence.[59]

Personal life[edit]

Hagerty is married to Chrissy Hagerty, and has four children.[56] He identifies as a conservative Christian.[58]

Electoral history[edit]

2020 United States Senate Republican primary results[60]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bill Hagerty 331,267 50.75%
Republican Manny Sethi 257,223 39.41%
Republican George Flinn, Jr. 22,454 3.44%
Republican Jon Henry 8,104 1.24%
Republican Natisha Brooks 8,072 1.24%
Republican Byron Bush 5,420 0.83%
Republican Clifford Adkins 5,316 0.81%
Republican Terry Dicus 2,279 0.35%
Republican Tom Emerson, Jr. 2,252 0.35%
Republican David Schuster 2,045 0.31%
Republican John Osborne 1,877 0.29%
Republican Roy Dale Cope 1,791 0.27%
Republican Kent Morrell 1,769 0.27%
Republican Aaron Pettigrew 1,622 0.25%
Republican Glen Neal, Jr. 1,233 0.19%
Total votes 652,724 100.00%
2020 United States Senate election in Tennessee[61]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Bill Hagerty 1,840,926 62.20% +0.33%
Democratic Marquita Bradshaw 1,040,691 35.16% +3.29%
Independent Elizabeth McLeod 16,652 0.56% N/A
Independent Yomi Faparusi 10,727 0.36% N/A
Independent Stephen Hooper 9,609 0.32% N/A
Independent Kacey Morgan (withdrawn) 9,598 0.32% N/A
Independent Ronnie Henley 8,478 0.30% N/A
Independent Aaron James 7,203 0.29% N/A
Independent Eric William Stansberry 6,781 0.23% N/A
Independent Dean Hill 4,872 0.16% N/A
Independent Jeffrey Grunau 4,160 0.14% N/A
Write-in 64 0.00% ±0.00%
Total votes 2,959,761 100.00%
Republican hold


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  2. ^ Harvey, Laura (July 24, 2017). "Madisonville-North Hopkins High School graduate confirmed as U.S. ambassador to Japan". Kentucky New Era. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Bill Hagerty '84 appointed as U.S. Ambassador to Japan". Vanderbilt Law School. March 24, 2017. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  4. ^ "Appointment of the 1991–1992 White House Fellows" (PDF). White House. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
  5. ^ Haberkorn, Jennifer; Restuccia, Andrew (August 28, 2016). "Trump taps Bush, Romney veterans for transition". Politico. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  6. ^ Collins, Michael (July 27, 2017). "1 Tennessee's Bill Hagerty sworn in as the U.S. ambassador to Japan". The Tennessean. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  7. ^ Garrison, Joey (November 12, 2014). "ECD Commissioner Bill Hagerty to leave Haslam administration". The Tennessean. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  8. ^ Garrison, Joey. "Trump to name Nashville's Bill Hagerty ambassador to Japan". The Tennessean. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  9. ^ "Report for the Committee on Foreign Relations: Hagerty, William – Japan – May 2017". U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original on June 6, 2017. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  10. ^ Garrison, Joey. "State bill seeks to help Nashville MLS bid with stadium". The Tennessean. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  11. ^ Kennedy, Eleanor (December 20, 2017). "Nashville formally awarded MLS team, completing come-from-behind win". Nashville Business Journal. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  12. ^ Organ, Mike. "Nashville lands MLS franchise". The Tennessean. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  13. ^ Becker, Lori (December 21, 2017). "Nashville MLS Win: Don't bet against Bill Hagerty". Nashville Business Journal. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  14. ^ Sher, Andy (October 15, 2015). "Jeb Bush names Frist, three Chattanoogans for TN presidential delegate slate". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved October 5, 2019.
  15. ^ Garrison, Joey. "Nashville's Bill Hagerty takes on key role on Trump transition team". The Tennessean. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  16. ^ Rogin, Josh (August 3, 2016). "Top Corker aide joins Trump transition team". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  17. ^ "President Donald J. Trump Sends Nominations to the Senate". White House press pool email. March 27, 2017. Archived from the original on March 28, 2017. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  18. ^ "Senate Confirmation Vote". United States Senate.
  19. ^ "U.S. Senate confirms businessman Hagerty as ambassador to Japan". Reuters. July 13, 2017. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
  20. ^ The White House (July 27, 2017), Vice President Pence Swears In U.S. Ambassador to Japan William F. Hagerty IV, retrieved July 27, 2017
  21. ^ "Hagerty: Goal remains the denuclearization of North Korea". Asahi. Archived from the original on October 27, 2017. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  22. ^ Garrison, Joey. "Bill Hagerty reportedly a contender to be Trump's top trade negotiator". The Tennessean. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  23. ^ Nicholas, Peter; Bender, Michael C. "Trump Team makes overtures to democrats as transition push ramps up". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  24. ^ Hughes, Clyde (July 16, 2019). "U.S. ambassador to Japan resigns amid Senate race". United Press International. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  25. ^ Pramuk, Jacob (December 17, 2018). "GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander will not run for re-election in 2020". CNBC. Retrieved July 16, 2022.
  26. ^ Allison, Natalie; Elbert, Joel (December 17, 2018). "Tennessee US Sen. Lamar Alexander will not seek re-election in 2020". The Tennessean. Gannett. Retrieved July 16, 2022.
  27. ^ Prohov, Jennifer (July 11, 2019). "Bill Haslam announces he will not run for Senate in 2020". WBIR-TV. Retrieved July 16, 2022.
  28. ^ Casiano, Louis (July 12, 2019). "Trump says Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty to make Senate run in Tennessee". Fox News. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  29. ^ Segers, Grace (July 12, 2019). "Trump announces U.S. ambassador to Japan will run for Senate". CBS News. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
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  34. ^ Mattise, Jonathan (April 4, 2020). "Hagerty raises $1.2M more in Tennessee bid for US Senate". AP News. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
  35. ^ Ebert, Joel (January 28, 2020). "Donald Trump Jr. touts father's accomplishments, slams media and Democrats while stumping for Bill Hagerty". The Tennessean. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  36. ^ Butler, Chris (February 19, 2020). "Nikki Haley Says Bill Hagerty Is 'A Quality Republican' During Nashville Stop". The Tennessee Star. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
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  38. ^ "Browse loans". FEC.gov. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
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  42. ^ West, Emily R.; Hardiman, Samuel. "Marquita Bradshaw wins Tennessee's Democratic US Senate primary". The Tennessean.
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  44. ^ "Republican Bill Hagerty wins election to U.S. Senate from Tennessee". baynews9.com. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  45. ^ "Tennessee U.S. Senate Election Results". The New York Times. November 3, 2020. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  46. ^ "Tennessee US Sen. Hagerty defends planned objection to certification of Biden's electoral victory". timesfreepress.com. January 6, 2021.
  47. ^ "Marsha Blackburn, Bill Hagerty reverse course, vote to uphold presidential election". The Tennessean.
  48. ^ Stevenson, Peter W.; Blanco, Adrian; Santamariña, Daniela (May 28, 2021). "Which senators supported a Jan. 6 Capitol riot commission". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 29, 2021.
  49. ^ Slodysko, Brian (August 9, 2021). "Infrastructure push slowed by Tennessee senator's objection". Associated Press. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  50. ^ Cochrane, Emily; Luke Broadwater (August 8, 2021). "Senate Works on Infrastructure 'the Old-Fashioned Way': Painfully Slow". The New York Times. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  51. ^ Ebert, Joel (January 27, 2020). "GOP U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty's first TV ad highlights Trump endorsement, impeachment". The Tennessean. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  52. ^ Wegmann, Philip (January 7, 2020). "Bill Hagerty Is No Mitt Romney (and That's Fine by Trump)". RealClearPolitics. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  53. ^ "Senate candidate Bill Hagerty resigns board seat over firm's support for Black Lives Matter". July 13, 2020.
  54. ^ "In Tennessee's Senate race, Sethi attacks Hagerty as 'entitled' for loan". The Tennessean.
  55. ^ Hagerty, Bill (March 9, 2020). "End Human Trafficking, Support Death Penalty For Traffickers". The Chattanoogan. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  56. ^ a b c Siniard, Tim (January 10, 2020). "Hagerty vows to stand with Trump". Cleveland Daily Banner. Cleveland, Tennessee. Archived from the original on January 27, 2021. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  57. ^ "Issues". teamhagerty.com. Bill Hagerty for U.S. Senate. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  58. ^ a b c Stevens, Blake (January 14, 2020). "From jobs to healthcare to Iran: Former Ambassador, U.S. Senate Candidate Bill Hagerty discusses range of topics". WATE-TV. Knoxville, Tennessee. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  59. ^ a b c Keafer, Tori (December 2, 2019). "Senate candidate talks political and Main Street views with Franklin mayor". Williamson Herald. Franklin, Tennessee. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  60. ^ "State of Tennessee - August 6, 2020 Republican Primary" (PDF). Tennessee Secretary of State.
  61. ^ State of Tennessee General Election Results, November 3, 2020, Results By Office (PDF) (Report). Secretary of State of Tennessee. December 2, 2020. Retrieved December 2, 2020.

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by United States Ambassador to Japan
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Tennessee
(Class 2)

Most recent
U.S. Senate
Preceded by U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Tennessee
Served alongside: Marsha Blackburn
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas United States Senator from Arizona Order of precedence of the United States
as United States Senator from Tennessee

since January 3, 2021
Succeeded byas United States Senator from Alabama
Preceded by United States senators by seniority