Tennessee native Ward Baker’s stock soars with Republican wins

by Joey Garrison jgarrison@tennessean.com

It was September 2015, months before voting began in the Republican presidential primary, and Ward Baker was bracing for what still seemed unthinkable to most — Donald Trump as the GOP nominee.

Baker set out to prepare his staff and the upcoming crop of Republican U.S. Senate candidates for a presidential standard-bearer who had already upended conventional campaigning.

The executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee — a Nashville native whose start as a Republican strategist began in Tennessee — outlined his thoughts in a seven-page confidential memo he dubbed “Observations on Donald Trump on 2016.” It would later make the front page of The Washington Post.

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