East Tennessee Representative David Hawk is another Tennessee House member considering a run for Speaker.
“I am certainly giving strong consideration to a run for Speaker,” he told News 2 last week.
Beth Harwell’s run for governor leaves a wide-open race for one of the most powerful and important positions in the Tennessee General Assembly.
Hawk told News 2 he’ll likely make a decision once its clearer who will be elected to the House.
There is record turnover among the 99-members who select the new speaker at the start of next January’s session.
“I know my strengths are in policy, so we will see if the legislature as a whole feels that is where the next speaker needs to be, and we will go from there,” adds the lawmaker.
Representative Hawk spearheaded a major prong of the legislature’s opioid bill that placed limits and more scrutiny on prescriptions.
Only representative Curtis Johnson has officially declared a run for speaker, but House Republican Leader Glen Casada is likely to enter once he finishes his role of trying to elect more GOP members to the House.
Several other lawmakers are said to be considering, but Rep. Hawk wants to avoid dysfunction in the House no matter what.
“If we become dysfunctional, then we weaken the legislature branch of government,” added Hawk. “It allows the judicial and executive branch of government to gain strength.”
The new Speaker is almost certain to come from Republicans since they currently hold nearly three-quarters of the House seats.
That figure is not expected to change significantly even with record turnover.