NASHVILLE, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Glen Casada’s departure this month as Tennessee House speaker has opened the way for some new leaders in the Republican-dominated chamber.
With current House Republican Caucus Chair Cameron Sexton expected to be elected speaker next week, his position will be open. Four candidates have told their colleagues they want the job Sexton has held since being elected as caucus chair by House Republicans late last year.
The candidates include, in alphabetical order, Reps. Michael Curcio, Jeremy Faision, Patsy Hazlewood, and Jerry Sexton, who is no relation to the current Republican caucus chair.
We are profiling the four in the week leading up to the August 22nd vote among the 73-Republicans who make up the 99-member House.
“This is family business if you will,” says Dickson County Rep. Curcio who was among the first to announce his candidacy for caucus chair.
Curcio told us some of what he’s telling his fellow members while seeking their vote.
“The caucus chair, working in conjunction with the majority leader, will be responsible for raising money for the caucus, defending our incumbents in elections, making sure our members have the resources to run for office,” says Curcio.
Fundraising for Republican House members is often seen as the key role for a caucus chair and Curcio says he has plenty of experience at it.
“I have worked for congressional campaigns. I have raised money for non-profits, so I have a great statewide network of donors,” he said last month after announcing his candidacy.
At least one other candidate for the Republican caucus chair is making similar fundraising claims. We’ll hear more about that in the coming week.
The election for the House Republican caucus chair comes the day before a special session that’s set to elect Cameron Sexton as speaker because of the party holding nearly three-quarter of the chamber’s seats.