Senate candidates make moves ahead of election

Marquita Bradshaw in Spring Hill in August

U.S. Senate candidates Bill Hagerty, a Republican, and Marquita Bradshaw, a Democrat, are making changes to their campaign operations in the wake of their respective primary victories last month.

Hagerty, a former ambassador and fundraiser for President Donald Trump and other Republicans, announced late last month that Hunter Goh would be his campaign’s political director, Kendal Matas would run grassroots operations and Savannah Newhouse would be press secretary.

All three were part of the team that led Hagerty to victory over Nashville surgeon Manny Sethi and other candidates in the Republican primary.

Another Hagerty campaign aide, Tanner Cox, recently joined the re-election team of U.S. Rep. John Rose (R-Cookeville) as campaign manager.

Unlike Hagerty’s bid, Bradshaw’s primary win was neither expected nor particularly well-funded. In the weeks since, she has made a number of changes to her team:

Ruby Powell-Dennis, who recently finished second in a crowded Democratic primary for a Shelby County state House seat, is Bradshaw’s new campaign manager. Matthew Park, who finished second in a Knox County state House primary, will coordinate Bradshaw’s campaign in the 2nd Congressional District.

Her team has also in recent days moved to professionalize the campaign, setting up a joint fundraising committee with the state Democratic Party.

Through the primary last month, Bradshaw reported raising less than $10,000, and did not file finance reports for the second quarter or pre-primary reporting periods. Hagerty has already spent millions of dollars, including his own, and in recent weeks has used Republican bigwigs like Donald Trump Jr. and Mitch McConnell to send fundraising appeals warning that “the left-wing mob has funneled nearly $300,000 to her campaign.”

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