Thursday, December 11, 2014

Shelia Butt to be Republican Floor Leader. Gerald McCormick re-elected as House Majority Leader.

While Beth Harwell easily won over tea party challenger Rick Womick, getting 57 votes to Womick's 15 votes for Speaker of the House, and while Chris Devaney regained his chairmanship of the Tennessee Republican Party getting 47 votes to Joe Carr's 17, someone who may be thought of as a tea party Republican did win the position of floor leader in the State House.  Shelia Butt of Columbia won the position at the meeting of the House Republican Caucus Wednesday morning.  She was unopposed.

Butt was one of the fifteen Republican members of the House who called for former Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman's resignation.  She has been a leading opponent of Common Core and she also sponsored a bill that mandated cursive writing in schools.  She sponsored a bill that would make it a felony to enforce certain federal gun laws in Tennessee and was the sponsor of the bill that would prohibit an employer from banning guns on his property. She was one of the few State Legislators who endorsed Joe Carr in his campaign against Senator Lama Alexander.

I know as a political pundit, I am supposed to know everything, but I am not exactly sure what the Floor Leader's duties are.

Glen Casada was reelected House Republican Caucus Chairman and Gerald McCormick of Chattanooga was re-elected for a third term as House Majority Leader.  The House Majority Leader serves as the chief officer and negotiator for the House Republican Caucus and is also responsible for carrying the Governor’s legislative package every session. McCormick has served as Majority Leader since the Republicans gained a majority in the Tennessee House of Representatives in 2010.

Representative Dawn White of Murfreesboro was elected to serve as Caucus Secretary for the Tennessee House Republican Caucus without opposition.

In the State Senate Republican Caucus, Ron Ramsey was unanimously re-elected as lieutenant governor and speaker of the Senate and Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, was re-elected to a third term as state Senate Caucus Chairman. Ramsey has served in this leadership capacity since 2007. Sen. Mark Norris was unanimously elected Senate Majority Leader.

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