The Tennessee House began a new era Tuesday with the election of its first new speaker in eight years.
In front of speakers from decades past, Rep. Glen Casada took over the gavel from retiring Speaker Beth Harwell who was the first woman to hold the position.
“Today I accept this gavel in the spirit of partnership, not partisanship,” said Casada.
While making that pledge, and even getting a few Democrat votes, Casada told House members they will aim to have increased say and sway over budget spending that affects schools, roads and public safety, and also involve a new governor and the 33-member Senate.
“Together, the House will lead,” said Rep. Casada as he closed his first speech as Speaker.
Democrats last year called themselves the “Fighting 25” and now they have 26-of the 99 House members. New minority Democrat leader Karen Camper aims to have a voice in key state issues, especially with Republican Governor-elect Bill Lee.
Rep. Karen Camper has told News 2, “He is going to have to talk to us about what those things are” while hoping to get her fellow House Democrats “better organized.”
Over in the state senate, Republican Randy McNally was overwhelmingly re-elected as Lt. Governor.