House Speaker Harwell breaks ankle, to stay on job

House Speaker Harwell breaks ankle, to stay on job

April 23rd, 2012 by Andy Sher in Local - Breaking News

Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell

Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE - Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell broke her ankle earlier today but has returned to work where she is expecting to conduct this afternoon's floor session, a spokeswoman said.

Kara Owen confirmed reports that Harwell injured her ankle while walking her dog in the Nashville neighborhood where the speaker lives.

The speaker was attempting to move her dog out of the roadway when she twisted her ankle, Owen said.

Thinking she had simply sprained her ankle, Harwell went to her office in the Legislative Plaza, where she later saw a nurse who advised she go see a doctor. The speaker did and turned out her ankle was broken, Owen said.

The spokeswoman said she did not have further information about the break except that it is "very, very painful."

In preparation for this afternoon's session, expected to last hours, aides are providing a high chair for the speaker, who also has an air cast.

"She's strong," another aide observed.