Rep. Williams dismisses fellow Republican's call for resignation
Rep. Kent Williams, who was elected Speaker of the House Tuesday in a move that left Republicans stunned, is dismissing a fellow Republican lawmaker's call for him to step down because he wasn't the party's choice for the chamber's top post.
Williams, of Elizabethton, was elected speaker on a vote of 50-49 by getting the votes of every Democrat, plus his own.
Rep. Jason Mumpower got all the other GOP votes and prior to Tuesday, was the presumptive winner.
Rep. Brian Kelsey of Germantown called for Williams' resignation Wednesday.
Williams, who did not respond from the speaker's podium, later told reporters the suggestion was "silly."
"You know, we could debate that for two hours, Kelsey and me, we've had several debates. That's silly, you know, and Representative Kelsey I respect, but he comes up with a lot of silly ideas, so, that's just another one of them," Williams said.
Williams has pledged to run the House in a bipartisan manner, and says he plans to equally assign powerful committee chairmanships to Republicans and Democrats.
He said committee appointments should be completed by next week.