It’s almost like musical chairs these days at the Tennessee State Capitol. One person gives up their seat and several lawmakers want it.
That’s when the political music starts, and where it stops we will know in about a year and half.
It, of course, begins in the governor’s office where term limits prevent Bill Haslam from pursuing a third term.
That upcoming vacancy has brought four major candidates for the governor’s office from the Republican side and one from the Democrats so far.
The latest entrant is House Speaker Beth Harwell, and unless the longtime lawmaker withdraws before next April’s filing deadline and seeks re-election, she will leave a vacancy for her current position because you cannot run for two political offices at same time in Tennessee.
Harwell’s decision to run for governor sets up a lot of change for others as well says longtime political analyst Steve Gill of the Tennessee Star web site.
“I think you are going to see 20-to-25 state house and senate vacancies as we head into next year,” he told News 2. “Most of these folks are trying to set up to run for something else and then you have the domino effect that follows that.”
Count House Majority Leader Glen Casada as the strongest possibility to succeed Speaker Harwell, but there are other Republicans who might be considered when party members from the House vote on their speaker’s candidate in less than a year and a half.
We’ll be looking at changes in the Senate next week with two of its three most powerful leaders seeking other offices.
Courtesy of WKRN’s News 2