NASHVILLE — Rep. Vince Dean, R-East Ridge, becomes the new chairman of the House Transportation Committee as Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell today announced House committee leadership and other assignments for the new 108th General Assembly.
Meanwhile, the Senate saw a major shakeup as Republican Speaker Ron Ramsey named Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Collierville, to replace Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, as Judiciary Committee chairman.
In other House appointments, Rep. Richard Floyd, R-Chattanooga, was named vice chairman of the newly created Local Government Committee, which was previously part of the State and Local Government Committee.
As expected, Harwell also split the Judiciary Committee in half. The previous chairman, Rep. Eric Watson, R-Cleveland, is now the Criminal Justice Committee chairman. Rep. Jon Lundberg, R-Bristol, is chairman of the Civil Justice Committee. Freshman Rep. Mike Carter, R-Ooltewah, an attorney, was named to the Civil Justice panel.
Rep. David Alexander, R-Winchester, becomes the new vice chairman of the Finance Committee. Carter was also named to the Finance Committee and to the House Ethics Committee.
Freshman Rep. Ron Travis, R-Dayton, will serve on the Insurance and Banking Committee and the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
Rep. JoAnne Favors, D-Chattanooga, was reappointed to the Health Committee and the new Insurance and Banking Committee.
Ramsey named freshman Sen. Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga, to serve on the Education Committee, the Judiciary Committee and the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Fellow freshman Sen. Janice Bowling, R-Tullahoma, was named to serve on the State and Local Government Committee, the Transportation and Safety Committee and Government Operations Committees.
Ramsey retained Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, as speaker pro tempore. Watson continues serving on the Finance Committee, Commerce and Labor Committee and Rules Committee. He is now second vice chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, remains on the Finance Committee, Government Operations Committee and Calendar and Rules Committee. He now also serves on the newly created Business and Utilities Committee.
Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...