NASHVILLE, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) — The no confidence, closed-door vote Monday in Nashville by about 70 fellow Republicans was just one card to bring the deck tumbling down for the state’s third-highest ranking politician. However, it’s unclear if the governor’s call for a special session to deal with Tennessee House Speaker Glenn Casada’s saga will avert a constitutional crisis.
Casada has been under scrutiny ever since 3-year-old sexist and racist texts from his former Chief of Staff Cade Cothren were exposed. The speaker is also under fire for everything ranging from allegations of secret recordings to bribery.
Casada said he was confident his fellow Republican lawmakers would back him up today, but instead their vote of no confidence by a margin of nearly two to one, 45-24. Within minutes of the meeting, there were flurries of statements including one from the Lt. Governor Randy McNally saying Casada should step down.
“It is time for the speaker to heed the advice of the majority of his fellow legislators and step down from his position of leadership and allow someone else to begin the process of restoring the trust of all Tennesseans,” said Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party Scott Golden.
For their part, all four Republican house members representing Shelby County were seen leaving the meeting declining to comment where the ballot was secret, so we may never know how they voted.
Casada has dug in. “I’m disappointed in the results of today’s caucus vote,” said Casada. “However, I will work the next few months to regain the confidence of my colleagues so we can continue to build on the historic conservative accomplishments of this legislative session.”
Although Casada has apologized for his role in the lewd texts, House Majority leader, William Lambeth still wants Casada to resign.
“Sometimes sorry is not enough depending on what the behavior is, but I will say that he gave a very heartfelt apology,” said Lambeth.
The ball is now in Casada’s court. Either he heeds the calls from both sides to resign or deal with the outcome of the special session.