NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee House Republican Caucus voted Monday for a “no confidence” resolution for House Speaker Glen Casada.
House leadership said that the speaker said the vote “gave him something to think about” and that he would “take a few months to think about this.” Casada also said he wanted to earn the trust of the House Caucus back.
Leadership also said while the resolution speaks volumes about how the caucus feels about Speaker Casada, he will remain Speaker at the moment unless he decides to step aside.
Rep. Casada has been under scrutiny since his former chief of staff Cade Cothren allegedly sent racist and sexist text messages three years ago.
The speaker admits responding to a few of the sexist texts.
He has also been criticized for trying to influence a House Ethics Committee report on his handling of Cothren’s resignation earlier this month but denies any meddling.
Unless Rep. Casada resigns, most constitutional observers believe there is no provision to remove the speaker until his two-year term is up in 2021.
Monday night, Gov. Bill Lee tweeted a statement saying he’s prepared to call a special session if Casada didn’t resign after Monday’s vote of no confidence:
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
Monday evening, Casada released this statement:
“I’m disappointed in the results of today’s caucus vote. 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.”