NASHVILLE — House Speaker Kent Williams said House Republican leaders barred him from attending the GOP Caucus meeting this afternoon, while Republican Leader Jason Mumpower later acknowledged that “it would be best if he did not attend.”
The incident occurred as Republicans continue to struggle with how to deal with Rep. Williams, the one-time Republican from Elizabethton who was booted from the Tennessee Republican Party last month. Party leaders kicked him out after he and 49 Democrats elected him speaker over Rep. Mumpower in a 50-49 vote on Jan. 13.
Rep. Williams referred reporters to Rep. Mumpower, of Bristol, and House Republican Caucus Glen Casada, R-College Grove.
“I wasn’t allowed in,” Rep. Williams said, noting they could not have stopped him, “but I was a gentleman about it and said ‘I’ll come back when I’m invited.’”
Rep. Mumpower said dealing with Rep. Williams is an “issue we’re working on.”
“If it causes discontent within the caucus, it would be best if he did not attend,” Rep. Mumpower said. “And there are more than a few members who are discontent with him.”
For complete details, see tomorrow’s 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, ...