House Majority Leader William Lamberth, R-Portland, says he hopes Gov. Bill Lee will call for a special session by the end of June so that the legislative body can move forward following the resignation on Tuesday of House Speaker Glen Casada.
Casada, who represents Williamson County, had been under fire by members of both parties recently following reports that he and his Chief of Staff, Cade Cothern, exchanged racial and sexually charged text messages and that Cothern used cocaine while working in the legislature. Cothern resigned earlier this month.
On Monday, members of the House Republican caucus voted on whether or not it was confident in Casada’s leadership. They voted 45-24 that they weren’t.
“Today the House Republican Caucus met and sent a strong message that we have lost confidence in Speaker Glen Casada,” Lamberth said in a written statement released Monday night. “I have waited until now to make a statement on my personal position on this matter to allow the Caucus time to meet and deliberate. After today's vote, it is time for the Speaker to resign, and I hereby request Governor Lee call a special session by the end of June for the House to choose a new Speaker.”
Casada released a statement on Tuesday announcing his plans to resign.
“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 facilitate a smooth transition,” he said.
During a telephone conversation on Tuesday, Lamberth, who represents parts of Hendersonville, Gallatin and Portland, said he doesn’t plan to seek Casada’s position.
“I ran for House Majority Leader and I look forward to continuing to serve in that role as well as to continue to serve the people I represent,” he said. “I have no interest in the Speaker of the House position at this point.”
Lamberth said he still hoped that Gov. Bill Lee would call for a special session by the end of June so that lawmakers could vote on a new Speaker.
“I would like to get this resolved and get a new Speaker by the end of June so that we can plan to go back in session in January and basically end the turmoil here,” he said.
Lamberth, a former Sumner County assistant district attorney, was first elected state representative for the 44th district in 2012. He was voted Majority Leader by members of the Republican caucus in November 2018.