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Senate hopeful leaves board over Black Lives Matter support

"I cannot ... remain affiliated in any way with the promotion of a radical political movement," Bill Hagerty said
Bill Hagerty / Source: US Embassy
Bill Hagerty / Source: US Embassy(WVLT)
Published: Jul. 17, 2020 at 11:21 AM EDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT/AP) - A Tennessee Republican running for U.S. Senate has resigned from the board of a brokerage firm after the company expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Bill Hagerty announced he would be stepping down from the board of R.J. O’Brien & Associates in a letter to CEO Gerald Corcoran on Saturday.

In his resignation letter obtained by WVLT News, Hagerty stated, “I cannot in good conscience remain affiliated in any way with the promotion of a radical political movement that seeks to use this moment to overthrow the government and usher in Marxism. This movement wants to rip apart the fabric of our country and destroy many aspects of what makes America exceptional. I vehemently oppose their calls for violence and relentless march towards socialism.”

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports R.J. O’Brien & Associates said it “stands proudly with the African American Community” and expressed support for “equality and peace” in a since-deleted post on Twitter.

“I have learned that the firm has promoted support for the Black Lives Matter movement, a Marxist organization that seeks to destroy the America that I know and long to support,” Hagerty stated in his resignation letter, dated Saturday, July 11. “One of the leaders of the BLM movement has said, “If this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it.” And the BLM movement seeks to destroy the nuclear family, calls for violence, promotes anti-Semitism, tears down monuments, and seeks to completely defund and dismantle our police departments.”

Hagerty is running for the seat being vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander. He previously served as President Donald Trump’s U.S. ambassador to Japan.

Copyright 2020 WVLT/Associated Press. All rights reserved.