No easy answers for Republicans in Speaker saga

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – While embattled House Speaker Glen Casada wants an August special session to deal with his successor, a top Republican leader hopes to make it happen this month. 

Republicans who control nearly three-quarters of the Tennessee House face a quandary about selecting a new speaker now that Casada says he’ll resign Aug. 2. 

There are few rules to follow and the speaker can resign whenever he wants  

All this comes in the wake of a series of allegations involving the speaker including admission of inappropriate texts three years ago and a no-confidence vote from his fellow Republicans.  

The governor is leery of a costly special session, House Majority Leader William Lamberth is not. 

“I believe we should have a special session by the end of this month,” says House Republican Majority Leader William Lamberth. “And put this saga behind us.” 

With three other House leaders running for speaker, the majority leader is tasked with taking the temperature of House Republicans to see what appetite there is to bring them together sooner than later to settle the speaker question. 

“He (Casada) has put that date out a little farther than I think most folks are comfortable with, but at least he has set a date which he will resign,” said Rep. Lamberth. 

He along with Speaker Pro Tem Bill Dunn, Deputy Speaker Matthew Hill, and House Republican Caucus, was in the meeting Tuesday that led to Speaker Casada’s announced resignation. 

Dunn, Hill, and Sexton are among at least a half dozen other Republicans who have either declared or expressed an interest in succeeding Casada.  

In the meantime, the Republican speaker’s scandal remains a rich target for House Democrats–especially with an estimated daily price tag of $75,000 for a special session.  

“If you are going to have a costly session, why not do this use it on something else,” says House Democrat caucus chair Mike Stewart.  

“If people wanted to have a special session to expand Medicaid and get all these hospitals open that would be something we should consider,” says Rep. Stewart. 

If the governor does not call a special session, two-thirds of each chamber can vote to do so. 

A Senate spokesperson said today if the house gets that two-thirds vote, so will the Senate. 

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