For Immediate Release: July 7, 2020

NASHVILLE – Tennessee U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty’s first statement posted on social media on the Fourth of July advocated for elevating Donald Trump’s likeness atop Mount Rushmore alongside George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Decorated Iraq war combat veteran James Mackler, a Democratic candidate for Tennessee’s open U.S. Senate seat, issued the following reaction. 

“A record making Tennessee the leader in rural hospital closures, ignoring the opioid epidemic, starting a trade war that hurt our state’s economy more than any other — and that has failed to contain COVID-19 — is not one to lionize.

“Bill Hagerty is not running for Senate to serve Tennesseans — he’s running to rubber-stamp whatever he’s told to in the Senate and he’s willing to put Trump’s face on Mount Rushmore to get there

“It’s not any one senator’s job to rubber stamp any president or party leader’s agenda. When I joined the U.S. Army — and many times since — I swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. Senators swear an oath to the Constitution, and their mission is to serve all their constituents. That’s the type of senator I will be. That’s not Bill Hagerty.”

Since launching his campaign at a closed rural hospital in McKenzie, Tennessee, James has earned support from the DSCC, Tennessee AFL-CIO, Tennessee Fire Fighters, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, NARAL, Vote Vets, Serve America, Let America Vote, End Citizens United, Giffords PAC, Gov. Phil Bredesen, Minority Leader Karen Camper, and thousands of Tennesseans in all 95 counties.

James Mackler joined the U.S. Army after 9/11 to do more and serve in a time of crisis, serving in Iraq as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot as a Screaming Eagle in the 101st Airborne Division. He later protected sexual assault survivors and prosecuted criminals as a U.S. Army JAG attorney. James is running for U.S. Senate for the same reasons he joined the army — to do more and serve all Tennesseans in a time of crisis.