Tennessee Representative Glen Casada announced Tuesday he will resign as House Speaker following widespread criticism after his former chief of staff allegedly sent racist and sexist text messages three years ago.
In an emailed statement Tuesday morning, Casada said, “When I return to town on June 3, I will meet with Caucus leadership to determine the best date for me to resign as Speaker so that I can help facilitate a smooth transition.”
Casada will resign from his leadership position but remain a member of the House as a 63rd District Representative, part of Williamson County.
Rep. Casada had been under scrutiny since his chief of staff Cade Cothren resigned after allegedly sending racist and sexist text messages and admitting to drug use in a legislative office building.
During a radio interview on SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, Casada said he was embarrassed that he responded to his former top aide, Cade Cothren’s texts, three years ago with a few lewd words of his own.
“I participated in some ‘locker room talk’ if you will, amongst two adult men. I’m not proud of that. I’m embarrassed about that,” Casada said.
The Tennessee House Republican Caucus voted 45-24 Monday for a “no confidence” resolution for House Speaker Glen Casada. Gov. Bill Lee echoed the sentiment Monday when he tweeted he was prepared to call a special legislative session if Casada did not resign as House Speaker.
Today House Republicans sent a clear message, and I’m prepared to call a special session if the Speaker doesn’t resign. — Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) May 21, 2019
Gov. Lee had previously stated had Casada been a member of his own administration, he would’ve asked him to resign.
Casada endured calls to resign from lawmakers throughout Tennessee. Senate Speaker Randy McNally said Casada should, “vacate his office.” McNally reiterated his call to remove Casada following the no-confidence vote from the Tennessee House Republican Caucus, adding the caucus has spoken, “clearly and distinctly.”
“Speaker Casada announcing his intent to resign is the right decision for the legislature, the Republican Party and the state. I commend him for it. Now we move forward. I am committed to working with leadership in the House to help restore the trust that has been lost in any way I can,” McNally said in a statement Tuesday.
The Tennessee Legislative Black Caucus announced their desire for him to resign following a private meeting with Casada on Monday, May 13.
Speaker Casada has made the right decision, and I look forward to working with the legislature to get back to conducting the people’s business and focusing on the issues that matter most to our state. — Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) May 21, 2019