NASHVILLE - State Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey announced today that he has named Bo Watson, R-Hixson, the new Senate speaker pro tempore, effective July 1.
The speaker pro tem is one of the chamber's top positions. Watson is replacing Sen. Jamie Woodson, R-Knoxville, who announced Thursday that she will resign from the Senate on July 1 to take a job with SCORE, the State Collaborative on Reforming Education.
"It is rare that you find someone who works as hard for the people of Tennessee as Bo Watson," Ramsey said in a news release. "His tireless work on issues of government reform has been an inspiration to all of us striving to make state government as small, efficient and transparent as possible. I'm extremely pleased he has agreed to take the job."
Watson said he is "humbled and honored that Lt. Gov. Ramsey has placed this kind of faith in me."
As speaker, Ramsey also has the title of lieutenant governor.
The speaker pro tem has a key leadership role in the General Assembly, both in terms of operations and policy. Among other things, he presides over the Senate when the speaker is absent.
Watson is now the chairman of the Senate Government Operations Committee and the vice chairman of the General Welfare, Health & Human Resources Committee.
For complete details, see tomorrow's Chattanooga Times Free Press.