Disgraced former Tennessee speaker to run for re-election

Published 9:24 am Thursday, February 6, 2020

NASHVILLE (AP) — Disgraced former Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada confirmed Tuesday that he will run for re-election this year.

“After much prayer and consultation with family and friends, I have decided to run for re-election to the Tennessee House of Representatives,” Casada said in a statement posted on social media.

The 60-year-old Casada, a Republican from Franklin, has been a state lawmaker since 2003. He won nearly 70% of the vote against his Democratic opponent in 2018.

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Casada resigned from the top leadership post in August after revelations he exchanged sexually explicit text messages about women with his former chief of staff years ago.

Other controversies included an aide’s cocaine use at a legislative office years ago and allegations of doctoring emails to frame a young black activist — which Casada and the aide both denied.

Casada initially resisted calls from inside his GOP caucus to step down as speaker. However, as the scandals persisted and the caucus voted they no longer had confidence in his leadership, he finally consented.

Replacing a speaker in the middle of a term is extremely rare in Tennessee. The last premature speaker resignation came in 1931 in the Senate.

The GOP-controlled House replaced Rep. Cameron Sexton of Crossville as new speaker.