NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Last Friday the Speaker’s chief of staff said it was not in his nature to send racist text message.
Today, there’s more to the story.
Cade Cothren says he is a very different person now than what he was three years ago.
In a joint statement from his boss Republic Speaker Glen Casada, Chief of Staff Cothren says, “Regarding the texts in question, I readily admit that I sent some of them.”
News reports broke on the final day of the legislative session that wondered if Cothren sent some racist texts.
The next day Cothren said, “It’s not in my nature to do so.”
On Monday, Cothren and Speaker Casada said the texts were sent three years ago in reference to drug use.
The Speaker said Cothren came to him at the time, “saying he was dealing with some personal issues.”
The Speaker said he “presumed those issues were drug-related” and that Cothren, who at the time was House Republican Caucus spokesperson, was getting help.
Cothren confirmed that some of the drug use took place in a legislative office.
“Because of that,” says the speaker, “I gave him a second chance. I believe in second chances.”
Cothren ended his statement by saying, “I ask for grace, acceptance, and forgiveness as I continue to work towards overcoming this time in my past.”
The Speaker also said Monday he’s glad to give Cothren a second chance.
News 2 received this statement from Cothren Monday:
“Because this happened several years ago, I can sincerely say it is hard for me to remember things with absolute clarity. I can confirm, however, I have said and done things in the past that I’m not proud of, and I won’t hide from that. However, those who know my heart, know that I am nothing even remotely resembling a racist. I believe that all people are created equally in God’s eyes.”
Earlier on Monday Cothren also sent this longer statement, admitting that he sent some text messages.
Regarding the texts in question, I readily admit that I sent some of them. I do so because they are part of a personal testimony that I am privileged to share, which is not lost on me. While I’m not proud of who I was in the past; I am proud that, with God’s grace and a strong support system, I’ve been able to achieve so much in the years since. Like so many young, egotistical men aspiring to a career in politics that came before me, moving up the career ladder was met with unrelenting stress, peer pressure, and unrealistic expectations. I know that this is not an excuse. Nonetheless, I unfortunately turned to maladaptive coping mechanisms. However, I thank God for these experiences because they’ve allowed me a unique opportunity to witness to the young men who will come after me that actions have consequences. I ask for grace, acceptance, and forgiveness as I continue working towards overcoming this time in my past. We can do better, and it’s my hope to be a part of that cultural change.