Tennessee Star Editorial: Lt. Governor McNally Must Resign from Leadership Now

It is painfully obvious to anyone who has watched the confused public responses of 79-year-old Tennessee Lt. Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) to the controversy surrounding his inexplicable social media postings that he has lost a step mentally.

McNally also faces health and physical challenges not unusual for a man of his age. In February he underwent a medical procedure to install a heart pacemaker.

On Saturday, McNally was skewered mercilessly in a Saturday Night Live skit that went viral around the country and subjected McNally to withering ridicule.

Sources familiar with the Tennessee political landscape tell The Tennessee Star that McNally is simply not all there mentally, and has been declining for some time. Recently he has had difficulty recalling the names of colleagues he has known for years, those sources add.

Randy McNally, c. 2009

Lt. Governor McNally can no longer perform his duties as speaker of the State Senate and lieutenant governor and he must resign both leadership roles immediately. He was re-elected to the State Senate this past November, and while his constituents in the 5th State Senate District deserve representation for the balance this session of the Tennessee General Assembly, which is expected to adjourn some time in May, McNally must carefully consider whether he is capable of serving the remainder of that four year term, which ends in January 2027.

McNally was elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives 45 years ago in 1978. He was 34 years old at the time. He has served in the Tennessee General Assembly ever since.

In 1986, he was elected to the Tennessee State Senate. In Tennessee, the speaker of the State Senate, who is elected by a majority of the 33 members of the State Senate, also serves as the lieutenant governor. Should the governor die or become incapacitated, the lieutenant governor steps up to serve as the governor.

In 2019, McNally was elected speaker of the State Senate and lieutenant governor by his colleagues in the upper chamber of the Tennessee General Assembly, where Republicans have a 27 to 6 super-majority. He was re-elected in 2021 and 2023.

If Lt. Governor McNally cares about his constituents and the state of Tennessee – which we at The Star believe he does – he will resign as speaker of the State Senate and lieutenant governor immediately. The only Tennesseans who will benefit from his continuing in those roles are the five members of his staff who could lose their jobs if he leaves his leadership position. Should McNally resign from leadership, accommodations for those staff members could certainly be made.

The McNally Era is over.

The lieutenant governor can do this the easy way and resign from leadership now, or he can do it the hard way.

If Lt. Gov. McNally chooses the hard way, the outcome will still be the same – he will be removed from his position of leadership, either by a vote of the Republican caucus in the State Senate, or by impeachment proceedings.

It is our hope that Lt. Gov. McNally and those who advise him will choose the easy way, and he will resign his leadership position immediately.

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Michael Patrick Leahy is the Editor in Chief of The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Follow Leahy on Twitter at @michaelpleahy.




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10 Thoughts to “Tennessee Star Editorial: Lt. Governor McNally Must Resign from Leadership Now”

  1. Dr Ken

    Sad, political leaders on both sides of the isle should be having discussions with the Lt Governor about stepping down. He clearly is evincing cognitive problems just like the “Big Guy” in Washington DC. With both, needed is an objective independent non-partisan psychological evaluation.

  2. Teddy

    Not the 1st time Tennessee has had a Lt. Governor who served too long.

  3. Sim

    I blame the voters as much as the Politicians, they have been elected the same people for so long that most have gotten so old they can’t even climb the steps to get on an airplane without falling.

    What’s that they say about a fool, keeps electing the same people expecting different results,

    Ur something like that.

  4. william delzell

    Ya don’t say!

  5. Tim Raynaud

    it is understandable that we would all feel betrayed by RM’s behavior…but what is perhaps the most striking thing about this situation is that he would rather that we believe him to possess the logic, discernment, awareness and maturity of an elementary school child rather than admit that he is a fraud. his responses to the questions reminded me of a small child who just got caught stealing a candy bar…and when asked about it…they answer “I wasn’t stealing it…I just wanted to hold it in my pocket for a little while.” He’s asking us to believe that his specific responses to this young man were benign, generic responses of encouragement and support that he’d offer to any voter or constituent. thank you sir…but please save your fire emoji’s for someone else. what’s more…the state GOP leadership seems to have accepted (at least for now) this absolutely ridiculous and utterly childish response from the 2nd highest official in our state. have we all lost our minds? it’s time for a true, grass-roots conservative uprising amongst the electorate.

  6. Steve Allen

    Well, when I compare his actions to those of that total imbecile and pawn of China and Ukraine, that would be that person who was put in charge of our country through the theft of the 2020 national election, I find it hard to to get upset. The political spectrum is full of idiots.

  7. nicky wicks

    republicans need to learn they have to behave much better than dems – always.

  8. John Bumpus

    What McNally was caught doing is an embarrassment to the citizens of Tennessee! McNally never expected to be caught at what he was doing—but he was! What McNally did directly reflects upon his judgment as a senior political leader of our State (after all, this guy COULD become our State’s Governor)! Resign as Speaker and Lieutenant Governor? McNally should just RESIGN, period! Go home, Randy! It’s OVER!

  9. Tim Price

    McNally needs to resign!

  10. Cannoneertwo

    “Tennessee voters spoke loud and clear this year when they overwhelmingly elected Republicans to represent them at every level,” Lamberth said. “I am so proud of all this caucus has accomplished. Together, with the leadership of Speaker Sexton, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally and Gov. Bill Lee, we will continue to deliver on our promise to uphold common sense conservative values and seek the best possible quality of life for all Tennesseans.”
    Rep. William Lamberth

    The Silly Season continues….