As early voting starts Friday, GOP U.S. Senate race gets ugly fast

Bill Hagerty and Manny Sethi are seen in this combination photo.

NASHVILLE - With early voting starting Friday in Tennessee, the long-simmering feud between the two top Republicans seeking the GOP nomination for an open U.S. Senate seat has erupted into a barrage of charges as well as television and radio ads assailing each other's conservative credentials.

Tensions began spilling over between former U.S. Ambassador Bill Hagerty, a businessman who has been endorsed by President Donald Trump, and Nashville trauma surgeon Manny Sethi following a July 6-7 survey of 1,062 likely GOP voters.

The Trafalgar Group survey showed a tighter race. While Hagerty was in the lead at 42.3%, Sethi's support was at 38.8%. A third candidate, Memphis doctor and businessman George Flinn, was at 3.9%. The survey's margin of error was stated by the polling firm at 2.4%.