NASHVILLE – U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty has wholly adopted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s deeply unpopular opinion that states and cities suffering economically from the COVID-19 pandemic should consider “the bankruptcy route” in a recent op-ed published in the conservative Tennessee Star. Recent polling shows Hagerty’s opinion runs counter to 74% of all voters who believe the Federal Government should step up and help. Nashville, where Hagerty lives, is facing a $216 million tax revenue shortfall and residents could see a 32% tax increase without assistance. Financial analysts say the Hagerty-McConnell rejection of federal aid for states “risks causing a depression.”

As Hagerty pens op-eds, decorated Iraq war combat veteran James Mackler, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, continues speaking with real voters, asking Nashville Central Labor Council President Vonda McDaniel what bankruptcy would mean for Tennesseans in a virtual town hall discussion.

“The pension system in Tennessee supports a great number of working families,” said McDaniel. “All of your educators, all of your firefighters, [each] of them are contributing members of local economies, so [bankruptcy] would definitely have a trickle-down effect of devastating not just state economies but our local economies. So we cannot let that happen.”

“Bill Hagerty is running for U.S. Senate to do exactly what his special interest bankrollers want him to do, and that’s why they’ve already feathered his campaign with more than $200,000 in corporate PAC dollars,” said James. “I closed my law practice to serve in the U.S. Army after we were attacked on 9/11. I’m running for U.S. Senate to serve all Tennesseans and do what’s right, and unlike Bill Hagerty, I’ll stand up to any president or majority leader when their agenda is wrong for Tennessee.”  

Since launching his campaign at a closed rural hospital in McKenzie, TN, James has earned support from the DSCC, Vote Vets, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Serve America, End Citizens United, Giffords PAC, Gov. Phil Bredesen, and thousands of Tennesseans in all 95 counties.

James joined the U.S. Army after 9/11, becoming a Black Hawk helicopter pilot and serving as a Screaming Eagle in the 101st Airborne Division. Following a deployment to Iraq, James became a JAG attorney, protecting sexual assault survivors and prosecuting criminals. 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.