HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — State representatives in the Tennessee Valley are reacting after the House Speaker announces he plans to resign.
This was the scene on Monday as Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada left a Republican caucus meeting.
In a 45 to 24 vote, representatives revealed they have no confidence in him.
Casada now says he plans to meet with Republican caucus leadership on June 3rd, when he returns from vacation to determine the best date to resign as speaker.
Representative Robin Smith, R-Hixson, says he made the right decision.
“Our caucus position has been that it is time to move forward and the fact that we do need to prioritize both the trust that Tennesseans deserve in their leadership in the House as well as to make sure that there is an environment of professionalism and ethics,” Rep. Smith said.
People called for Casada to resign after different controversies, including reports he exchanged text messages containing sexually explicit language about women with his former chief of staff.
Representative Dan Howell, R-Georgetown, released the following statement:
”Yesterday the House Republican Caucus sent a strong message that we hold our leaders and ourselves to a high standard. Public trust was broken and I commend Speaker Casada for making the right decision to resign from his leadership position. I am proud to be part of a Republican caucus that resolved to face this challenge head on. Unfortunately the great accomplishments made by the Tennessee General assembly this year were overshadowed by controversial leadership. We have put that behind us and Tennessee will be stronger because if it.”
Representative Mike Carter, R-Ooltewah, wants Casada to not just announce plans to resign, but to actually resign.
“We need to finish the job we started and we need to make sure that this is done quickly. And for that purpose I contacted legal services we are today planning a motion for a special session to remove him as speaker if that is necessary,” Rep. Carter said.
He hopes Casada follows through and resigns so the House can move on.
“The people of Tennessee have struggled with this. It brought us public and national ridicule and it is time to end this. It is time for Tennessee to be first again,” Rep. Carter said.
Governor Bill Lee says he agrees with Casada’s decision to step down.