Note: Come back to timesfreepress.com Thursday morning for coverage of Bill Hagerty's Election Day visit to Chattanooga.
U.S. Senate hopeful Manny Sethi stopped in Chattanooga on Wednesday for a final pre-election plea to vote out the "Washington cartel."
With just one day left in the heated GOP primary race for a Senate seat being vacated by Republican Lamar Alexander, Sethi — a proud political outsider and trauma physician — urged conservatives to support him over former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty.
"Make no mistake we are less than 24 hours from the biggest political upset in Tennessee history. The establishment never wanted this, the Washington cartel, they never believed we would come this far, that we could bring it this close," Sethi said of his opponent and other "insider" conservatives.
"This election is no longer about me, it's about you. It's about the people of this state," Sethi said to the crowd of roughly two dozen supporters at his Chattanooga satellite office. "We need to repeal and replace Obamacare. We have to take on our federal debt. We have to figure out immigration. And that's not going to happen if we keep sending Washington insiders to the United States Senate."
Former Rep. Zach Wamp told the group that Sethi, a first generation child of two immigrants who grew up in Coffee County, will be able to represent a broader swath of Tennesseans and offer more policy expertise than his opponent or other longtime politicians.
"No question about it, on health care and immigration, overnight [Sethi] will be a policy guru, for the conservative movement, allowing us to actually broaden our base and increase our appeal," Wamp said. "What does this man represent? A breath of fresh air that will actually move the swamp out and restore the nobility of public service, and a citizen legislator."
Wamp said Sethi was making six stops across East Tennessee on the day before the election to highlight how much the region means to him and to capitalize on the campaign's "momentum" and "intensity."
Hagerty is scheduled to speak in Chattanooga on Thursday, Election Day.
Polls will be open in Hamilton County for the Senate primary and local elections including the Hamilton County school board from 8 a.m.- 8 p.m. Thursday.
For more information on voting, please visit the Hamilton County Election Commission.