Republicans in the Tennessee House of Representatives will select their next leader on Tuesday, Nov. 27. One political observer has thrown out the name he believes will be picked.
The upcoming Republican decision means replacing the spot that has been held by retiring Speaker State Rep. Beth Harwell (R-TN-56), who retired to run for governor, WKRN reports. She came in fourth against Gov.-elect Bill Lee in the primary.
Republicans hold nearly three-quarters of the House seats, so their nominee for speaker will easily win the position when both parties vote in January as lawmakers convene their next session.
“At this point, it’s probably Glen Casada’s to lose,” said longtime political analyst Steve Gill, Political Editor of The Tennessee Star.
Casada (R-TN-63) is from Thompson Station. His Williamson County counterpart, State Sen. Jack Johnson (R-TN-23), is considered a front-runner for Senate Majority Leader. The Tennessee Senate Republican Caucus will choose its leaders on Monday, Dec. 3.
That story is here.
House Majority Leader Casada, the main sponsor of last session’s opioid bill, State Rep. David Hawk(R-TN-05) and current Speaker Pro-Tem State Rep. Curtis Johnson (R-TN-68) are on the ballot to replace Harwell.
“Curtis Johnson is a more moderate candidate for speaker,” said Gill. “David Hawk from upper East Tennessee, most people do not think he has a big lineup behind him.”
Speakers can often sway legislation and choose who serves on each committee. House Republicans will also select their majority leader and caucus chair.
A list of current House Republican Caucus members is here.
House Democrats plan to select their nominee for the speaker position and party leaders at a meeting next Sunday at 4 p.m. at Nashville’s Cordell Hull building.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.