Fortune has been kind to former Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty in the run-up to this year's election to be Tennessee's next United States senator.
First, former Gov. Bill Haslam didn't enter the race. Haslam, as a popular and effective former governor, would have been the likely favorite for the Republican nomination and the odds-on pick to win a general election. And Hagerty would not likely have run against the man he served as commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development.
Second, before Hagerty could announce his interest in a Senate race, President Donald Trump endorsed his candidacy. With Trump popular in the Volunteer State, the announcement immediately drew many of the president's admirers to his corner.
Third, despite a late surge by Nashville trauma surgeon Dr. Manny Sethi, the Gallatin native won the Republican primary by nearly 75,000 votes and about 12 percentage points.
Fourth, Hagerty's opponent in the general election is Memphis environmental activist Marquita Bradshaw, who was the upset winner in the Democratic primary. Had he faced Nashville attorney James Mackler, who was expected to win the primary, the race might be a bit closer.
As it is, three election race trackers earlier this week listed the state as "Solid Republican."
Although this page endorsed Sethi in the primary, we back Hagerty in the general election for his governmental experience, his business acumen and his vow to be a conservative voice for his constituents.
But if he is elected, while we trust he will espouse conservative principles, we also hope he'll also follow the thoughtful tradition of fairness his Republican predecessors Howard Baker and Lamar Alexander exhibited. Both were Republicans, but both had an eye for examining each issue on its merits and not immediately taking the party line.
Yes, Democrats do that in the age of Trump — take the party line, not necessarily what's best for the country — but we hope Republicans, and Hagerty, will be above that.
Bradshaw, according to her campaign website, advocates Medicare for All, student debt erasure, universal pre-kindergarten, the Green New Deal, a $15 minimum wage, the legalization of marijuana, and automatic voter registration, among other positions the majority of Tennesseans cannot support. She also is mentioned in a magazine article as being inspired by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, the radical New York legislator.
While we differed from Hagerty on some of his campaign tactics against Sethi and have been bothered by his clinginess to Trump, we feel he would be a far better senator for the great majority of the state's citizens than Bradshaw. We endorse his election.