November 20, 2018
House Republican Caucus Elects New Leadership for the 111th Tennessee General Assembly
On Tuesday, the members of the House Republican Caucus gathered in Nashville, Tennessee to elect their leadership prior to the convening of 111th Tennessee General Assembly on January 9, 2019. Voting by secret ballot, House Republicans were tasked with electing their nominee for Speaker of the House. In addition to the Speaker's race, House Republicans were further tasked with electing the positions of Speaker Pro Tempore, Majority Leader, Republican Caucus Chairman, Majority Whip, Floor Leader and Assistant Majority Leader.
Rep. Glen Casada of Thompson's Station defeated Rep. Curtis Johnson and Rep. David Hawk in a three-way contest to secure the House Republican nomination for Speaker of the House. With House Republicans holding a 73-26 supermajority over their House Democratic Colleagues, Rep. Casada is all but assured to the be the next Speaker of the House when the 111th Tennessee General Assembly convenes in January. Rep. Casada, who has served in the House of Representatives since 2001, has held several key leadership positions for House Republicans over the years including Republican Caucus Chairman and most recently, Republican Majority Leader. Once formally elected by the members of the House of Representatives, Rep. Casada will take over the Speaker's gavel from his fellow Republican, House Speaker Beth Harwell and will be tasked with making committee appointments in the House of Representatives. Speaker Harwell retired from elected office this year to run for Governor and has held the position of House Speaker since being elected to the position in 2011.
Rep. Bill Dunn of Knoxville defeated Rep. Dennis Powers in a two-way contest for Speaker Pro Tempore. Rep. Dunn replaces Rep. Curtis Johnson who opted to run for Speaker of the House instead of seeking another term as Speaker Pro Tempore. In his new role, Speaker Pro Tempore Dunn will be the designee tasked with presiding over the House of Representatives when the Speaker of the House is not in the well. Prior to being elected Speaker Pro Tempore, Rep. Dunn served as the Chairman of the House Calendar and Rules Committee. Rep. Dunn has served in the House of Representatives since 1994 and came into office at a time when Democrats, not Republicans controlled the House of Representatives. During the years of the Republican Minority in the House of Representatives, Rep. Dunn served as the Republican Leader.
Rep. William Lamberth of Portland defeated Rep. Ryan Williams and Rep. Jerry Sexton in a three-way contest for Majority Leader. Rep. Glen Casada, who secured the Republican nomination for Speaker of the House, most recently held the position of Majority Leader. Rep. Lamberth has served in the House of Representatives since 2013, and most recently held the position of Chairman of the House Criminal Justice Committee.
Rep. Cameron Sexton of Crossville defeated Rep. Jason Zachary in a two-way contest for Republican Caucus Chairman. Rep. Cameron Sexton will take over the position of Republican Caucus Chairman from Rep. Ryan Williams. Rep. Cameron Sexton has served in the House of Representatives since 2010. He previously held the leadership position of Majority Whip and most recently served as the Chairman of the House Health Committee.
Rep. Rick Tillis of Lewisburg defeated Rep. Tim Rudd in a two-way contest for Majority Whip. Rep. Tillis has served in the House of Representatives since 2017.
Rep. Ron Gant of Rossville defeated Rep. Jay Reedy in a two-way contest to secure the position of Assistant Majority Leader.
Rep. Paul Sherrell of Sparta ran unopposed to secure the position of Floor Leader.
Senate Republicans and House and Senate Democrats will hold their leadership elections in early December.
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