Tennessee House Republican Caucus
Late yesterday afternoon, the House Republican Caucus met to choose its officers for the upcoming 110th General Assembly. Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) fended off a challenge from Rep. Jimmy Matlock (R-Lenoir City), current Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, to remain the Republican nominee for Speaker when the Legislature reconvenes. Speaker Harwell won the secret ballot by a vote of 40-30. With a majority of 74-25 in the House, Speaker Harwell, as the Republican nominee, is assured to retain the position when the full House votes on January 10.
House Speaker Pro Tempore Curtis Johnson (R-Clarksville) defeated Rep. David Alexander (R-Winchester) and Rep. John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge) to retain the nomination for his position.
With current Majority Leader Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga) choosing not to seek another term in the post, current Caucus Chairman Glen Casada (R-Franklin) won the position over Rep. Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah) by a vote of 42-29.
Rep. David Hawk (R-Greeneville) was elected Assistant Majority Leader, defeating Rep. Matthew Hill (R-Johnson City) by a vote of 43-25.
Taking over as Republican Caucus Chairman is Rep. Ryan Williams (R-Cookeville), who defeated Rep. Kevin Brooks (R-Cleveland) by a vote of 49-23.
Tennessee Senate Republican Caucus
Earlier yesterday, the Senate Republican Caucus voted unanimously to nominate Sen. Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge), current Chairman of the Senate Finance, Ways & Means Committee, to become the next Speaker of the Senate and Lt. Governor of Tennessee. With a 28-5 majority in the Senate, the Republican nomination essentially assures Sen. McNally will become Speaker when the full Senate convenes on January 10 in Nashville. Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville) will continue to hold the position until the formal vote is taken.
The Caucus also reelected Sen. Mark Norris (R-Collierville) as Majority Leader, Sen. Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) as Republican Caucus Chairman, Sen. Ferrell Haile (R-Gallatin) as Treasurer and Sen. Becky Massey (R-Knoxville) as Secretary.