The Tennessee House Democratic Caucus has re-elected the ever-bombastic Mike Turner (D-Old Hickory) as House Democratic Caucus Chairman yesterday in the only contested Democratic Leadership contest in the Lower Chamber. Turner defeated Rep. Johnny Shaw (D-Boliver), who had earlier said that the Democrats needed to be more conciliatory toward Republicans while apparently saying in yesterday’s Caucus meeting that the Democratic Caucus had not been “as inclusive” as it could have been. One wonders if Shaw’s definition of inclusion simply means to include him.
Tennessee Senate Republicans voted to retain all of their leaders, as well as to renominate Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville) for another two-year term as Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the Senate. The lone exception was Senate Republican Caucus Treasurer Mae Beavers (R-Mount Juliet), who was ousted from her leadership post by Senator Ferrell Haile (R-Gallatin) in somewhat of a surprise political maneuver which marks the second ouster of a veteran Republican legislator from a leadership position. The other was Rep. Judd Matheny’s (R-Tullahoma) removal as Speaker Pro Tempore of the House of Representatives in favor of Rep. Curtis Johnson (R-Clarksville).