NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Republican Party’s executive committee recently approved a resolution that bars House Speaker Kent Williams, R-Elizabethton, from running again as a Republican, party spokesman Bill Hobbs said.
The Tennessee Federation of Republican Women adopted the same resolution on Saturday.
Tennessee Republican Party Chairwoman Robin Smith is expected to announce this morning whether she will move to bar Rep. Williams from running again as a Republican. GOP officials and lawmakers are angry with Rep. Williams after all 49 Democrats banded together with Rep. Williams to elect him speaker over Majority Leader Jason Mumpower, R-Bristol, on Jan. 13. He was elected on a 50-49 vote.
Mrs. Smith is not bound to accept the executive committee recommendation, but she also has condemned Rep. Williams on multiple occasions.
The executive committee resolution says “the evidence shows that Rep. Kent Williams had been planning his betrayal for eight weeks and conspiring with Democrats to crown him Speaker in exchange for betraying his fellow Republican caucus members.”
It also says Rep. Williams “intentionally concealed the conspiracy for eight weeks by telling lies to fellow Republican colleagues, members of the media, and even to the public via the radio airwaves.”
In addition to saying Rep. Williams should be barred from seeking election to his House seat as a Republican, the resolution also states the state party should “immediately request all media outlets in Tennessee to cease referring to Rep. Kent Williams as a Republican.”
It also says that Rep. Williams should “receive no support, endorsements, or financial backing by those affiliates of the Tennessee Republican Party.”
Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, the Senate speaker, said last week he has told Speaker Williams he should voluntarily leave the party.
For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...