A key part of the future for the Tennessee House will be determined Tuesday when Republicans there select their nominee to replace retiring Speaker Beth Harwell.
Since Republicans hold nearly three-quarters of the House seats, their nominee for speaker will easily win the position when both parties vote in January as lawmakers convene their next session.
“At this point, it’s probably Glen Casada’s to lose,” said longtime political analyst Steve Gill.
Current Republican Leader Casada, the main sponsor of last session’s opioid bill, David Hawk, and current Speaker Pro-Tem Curtis Johnson are on the ballot for fellow GOP lawmakers to consider for replacing Harwell.
“Curtis Johnson is a more moderate candidate for speaker, ” explained Gill. “David Hawk from upper East Tennessee, most people do not think he has a big lineup behind him.”
The powerful speaker position becomes open in January because Beth Harwell could not legally run for both her House seat and governor at the same time.
Harwell finished fourth in the August 4 Republican primary for governor.
Speakers can often sway legislation and they choose who serves on each committee.
House Republicans will also select their majority leader and caucus chair during Tuesday’s meeting.
House Democrats plan to select their nominee for the speaker position and party leaders at a meeting next Sunday at 4 p.m. at Nashville’s Cordell Hull building.