authors Stephen Elliott
More Tennessee political groups are making their preferences known in the race for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat.
The state chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police recently announced its endorsement of Republican nominee Bill Hagerty, who has echoed President Trump’s anti-protest, pro-police rhetoric during a summer defined in part by protests over police brutality.
“Now more than ever, we need leaders like Bill who understand the risk members of the police force face and our dedication to protecting our communities,” FOP Tennessee President Scottie DeLashmit said in a release. “Bill’s commitment to our men and women in blue is unmatched. He has built close relationships with many officers in Tennessee, and he will continue to work alongside them and the Tennessee FOP to ensure law enforcement officers have the proper tools they need to do their jobs.”
Meanwhile, the Equity Alliance Fund, the advocacy arm of the organizations that organizes Black voters, endorsed Democratic nominee Marquita Bradshaw, the first Black woman to be nominated by a major Tennessee party in a statewide race.
The group also announced it was endorsing five candidates in state legislative campaigns. Four of the five are running for House or Senate seats currently held by a Republican. The fifth, Torrey Harris, is running for a Shelby County House seat currently held by Rep. John DeBerry, who is running as an independent after the Democratic Party voted to ban him from running as a Democrat after years of siding with Republicans on issues like abortion and school choice.
Another endorsed candidate is Democrat Gabby Salinas, also running for a Shelby County House seat. The Equity Alliance Fund also endorsed Andrea Bond Johnson for House District 82, Glenn Scruggs for Senate District 10 and Brandon Thomas for House District 49.
The group “encourages Black voters to support policies and candidates who will invest in overlooked and underserved communities of color,” it said in a release. “From Nashville to Washington, D.C., Tennessee needs leaders who will advocate for Black Americans and other communities of color to have a fair and just opportunity at realizing the American dream.”