A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Speaker’s Chair

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For the first time in a very long time Republicans control both the House of Representatives and the Senate in the state of Tennessee.  One of the best things about this development is that we will no longer have to put up with Jimmy Naifeh running things in Nashville.   It was all but a forgone conclusion that Jason Mumpower, R-Bristol, would be elected as the first republican Speaker in 40, or so, years.

The Republicans all pledged (in writing) to vote for the Republican nominee for Speaker.  Mumpower was nominated but the Democrats nominated Kent Williams, R-Carter County.  Every Democrat voted for Williams and every Republican except Williams voted for Mumpower.  Williams voted for himself, thus winning the position.  One report described it this way:

On opening day of the 106th General Assembly, Democrats outmaneuvered Republicans to seat Kent Williams, a Republican who is apparently sympathetic to Democrats and was immediately branded by the GOP as a liar who betrayed his party and his constituents.

If the Democrats could support him, should conservatives be concerned?  Probably.  I don’t know much about Williams but I am sure we will get to see where he stands on issues very quickly as he makes committee appointments.

There is apparently a move with the Republican Party now to boot Williams from the Party.  He has effectively changed parties already.  It just has not become official yet.  I heard a news report on the radio today detailing how Williams had voted for a Democrat for the Speaker Pro Tempore.  It seems that even though the people put the Republicans in charge at the ballot box in November that the Democrats have figured a way to thwart the will of the people and retain control.

I had great hope for the State to accomplish some things in the next couple years but that seems to be gone now.  If nothing else, it should be an interesting session.

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