Tennesseee: McCormick may seek House speaker's post

Tennesseee: McCormick may seek House speaker's post

June 15th, 2010 by Andy Sher in Local - Breaking News

NASHVILLE - State Rep. Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, says he intends to run next year for the House's No. 1 post should Republicans maintain their majority in November elections.

"If we are still in the majority after Election Day, I plan on running for the Republican Caucus nomination for Speaker of the House," the Chattanooga businessman told GOP colleagues in a letter.

Rep. McCormick, now the assistant Republican leader, said the GOP's "first priority" in 2010 elections must be to "pick up some seats in order to increase our majority in November and I plan to work hard this summer and fall to raise and distribute money to help our candidates across the state as well as contributing to the Caucus Campaign Committee.

"I understand what kind of leadership we must have moving forward as a governing caucus," he said. "We need to stick to our common-sense conservative principles and show the people that we deserve to govern."

Republicans won a 50-49 majority over Democrats in 2008 elections only to see total control elude them when Rep. Kent Williams, R-Elizabethton, joined with the 49 Democrats to elect himself speaker over Republican Majority Leader Jason Mumpower, R-Bristol.

Rep. Williams split leadership and membership of most committees equally among the two parties. Republicans later won a special election, putting their majority at 50-48 with Rep. Williams, who was cast out by the state GOP, as the chamber's lone independent.

Rep. Williams hopes to maintain the speakership, if margins remain close, while Democrats hope to retake their majority with former speaker Jimmy Naifeh, D-Covington, saying he intends to be a candidate.

Mr. Mumpower is not seeking re-election, and House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada has said he intends to run. Others mentioned as possible GOP candidates including Rep. Beth Harwell, R-Nashville.