Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada is stepping down.
Casada sent FOX13 the following statement:
“When I return to town on June 3, I will meet with Caucus leadership to determine the best date for me to resign as Speaker so that I can help facilitate a smooth transition.”
Casada had been dogged by calls to resign since it was revealed he exchanged text messages containing sexually explicit language about women with his former chief of staff several years ago, among other controversies. In brushing aside calls to step down, the embattled official has said he has changed and released an action plan designed to build trust among his peers.
Last night, Tennessee House Republicans cast a vote of no-confidence in the speaker.
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House GOP majority leader William Lamberth had this to say Monday night after the caucus.
"There is no place either in the House Republican Caucus, in the House or in the legislature or in anywhere in which any type of sexist or racist or inappropriate remarks are going to be permitted. And I think that's been stated very clearly by this caucus."
Parkinson said he believes some of the pressure being placed on the Republican Party for Casada to resign could affect the outcome of the 2020 elections for some of the members of Republican Caucus.
He said lawmakers criticized Democrats in the past for calling out racism.
“One of our members London Lamar, she says something about the racist attitude in Tennessee legislation and they condemned her for it and they persecuted her for it. I said something about racist policy on house floor and they booed me for it.”
The text messages between Casada and his former chief of staff Cade Cothren show Casada egging on Cothren as he bragged about a sexual encounter in a restaurant. Cothren is also accused of calling black people “idiots.”
Reports indicate that Cothren admitted using cocaine at work.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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