McCormick dozens of signatures short for special session to oust Durham

Tennessee House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick laughs Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE - With a Friday deadline looming, backers of competing House petitions to call Tennessee lawmakers into special session to oust embattled Rep. Jeremy Durham remain dozens of signatures short of making it happen.

House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, who is sponsoring one of two dueling petitions on Durham, R-Franklin, said Monday he isn't sure he will get the required two thirds or 66 of 99 representatives required to call the proposed Aug. 15 special session.

"I hope there's a flood of people going into Nashville in the next few days, but I really don't sense that," said McCormick, who favors ousting Durham, who is the target of a recent state attorney general investigation that detailed accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior or harassment by 22 women.

"It's up to membership," McCormick later added.