NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — There’s a list of questions for new Tennessee House Speaker-to-be Cameron Sexton that range from the capitol’s minority party to his fellow Republicans.
There were already some loud critics even before Rep. Sexton was elected as speaker nominee by his fellow Republicans Wednesday morning.
“How can Republicans seriously look people in the eye and say they can have a real leadership election?” asked House Democratic leader Mike Stewart in another news conference responding almost every other day to allegations swirling around soon-to-resign Republican Speaker Glen Casada.
He and other House Democrats maintain those allegations from a variety of media sources need to be investigated somewhere before a new speaker is selected.
At the top of his list is how votes were won in the narrowly passed school voucher bill that
“There was no need to have any election until January,” added the Democrat lawmaker.
The dominant House Republicans who selected Sexton Wednesday as the-man-who-will-become speaker want to move beyond Casada’s issues.
Rep Curtis Johnson who finished second in the speaker race said publicly Wednesday what many lawmakers say privately.
“A lot has happened since our last election. Tennessee deserves better,” Johnson told his fellow Republicans while making his pitch for speaker.
The speaker’s race leaves other questions for Rep. Matthew Hill who strongly ran for the position.
Under a Speaker Sexton would he remain as deputy speaker?
“The deputy speaker is an appointed position and serves at the pleasure of the speaker and will continue to serve in that role until not needed to,” Rep. Hill said Thursday.
Hill added there are plans to talk next week with Sexton plan, but what about the presumptive speaker answering Democrats’ questions?
The speaker told News 2 it begins with respect.
“Every single member here whether Republican or Democrat needs to have respect for one another and we are all here for some purpose and that is to make Tennessee a better place,” says Rep. Sexton. And at the end of the day, we should be able to put the swords down.”
Trying to do so in the Tennessee House will be something to watch.
The embattled Speaker Casada was not at the Wednesday’s meeting to select his presumptive successor.
Casada plans to resign on August 2nd.