On Wednesday, gubernatorial candidate Mae Beavers submitted her letter of resignation from the State Senate to Governor Haslam and Lt. Gov. McNally. Beavers’ resignation becomes effective on Friday.
Beavers promised at a press conference held last week in her home cit of Mt. Juliet she would resign before the end of the month to focus on her campaign to win the Republican nomination for governor.
“I have always taken my duties in the state legislature extremely seriously, and I have concluded that it is simply not possible for anyone to run a statewide grassroots campaign while effectively serving during legislative session,” Beavers said at the press conference.
“It has been a honor to serve in the Tennessee Senate for almost fifteen years,” Beavers said. “It is therefore with a heavy heart, but also with great excitement, that I resign my Senate seat and look forward to a new phase in my campaign to be Tennessee’s next governor.”
On Wednesday, Beavers fulfilled that promise.
By resigning now, a special election can be held later this year to ensure that Beavers’ 17th District has a “fully focused representative in place the day that session begins,” Beavers said in a press release that from her press conference last week.
Prior to her resignation, Beavers’ ally in the Tennessee House of Representatives, State Rep. Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) had already announced his candidacy to replace Beavers in the State Senate in the regularly scheduled general election in November 2018. He is considered the front runner to replace her in the special election that will be held later this year.
Beavers’ resignation now puts pressure on two other Republican candidates for the gubernatorial nomination who currently serve in elected legislative positions to follow her example.
Tennessee Speaker of the House Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) has stated that she has no intention of resigning her seat.
Rep. Diane Black (R-TN-06) has given no indication she intends to resign from the U.S. House of Representatives.
The two other candidates for the Republican nomination for governor–Williamson County businessman Bill Lee and Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd–have never been elected to political office.
You can see Beavers’ letters of resignation, addressed to Governor Bill Haslam and Lt. Governor Randy McNally, here:BeaversResignationHaslam