NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) - Republican House Speaker Glen Casada says his chief of staff told him "it's not in my character" to send racist text messages.
It's Chief of Staff Cade Cothren's first response since being accused in a news report this week of sending racist texts.
Casada told News 2 that he had a conversation where he asked Cothren "Did you do this?"
Cothren told News 2 the conversation took place with him answering "it's not in my character."
House Democrat Caucus Chair Mike Stewart and Nashville Democrat Bo Mitchell seized on the texts during a news conference Friday morning.
"We are talking about shocking, unprecedented explicit statements using the n-word in the first text," said Rep. Stewart who also provided images of the texts for reporters.
They said Speaker Casada needs to provide more answers than what he told reporters on Thursday.
Casada defended Cothren for what he has seen in the decade of knowing him.
"I have never in that period of time seen Cade exhibit any characteristics that were racist or anything demeaning about anybody or anyone," said Speaker Casada late Thursday just hours before adjournment.
On a related matter, the Davidson County District Attorney's office has asked to see if a district attorney from another jurisdiction can investigate a different question.
Did Cothren change a date on an email concerning political activist Justin Jones who has been banned from the state capitol building?
It was another allegation brought up in the news report that mentioned Cothren and the racist texts.
Speaker Casada said Thursday the legislature's IT department determined the email was not altered but was delivered on a different date because of "security issues."
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