McCormick won't seek re-election as Tennessee House majority leader

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

NASHVILLE - Tennessee House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, announced this evening that he will not seek reelection to the chamber's second most powerful office, a position which he has held since 2011.

Citing accomplishments he and fellow Republicans have made since seizing a working House majority in January 2011, McCormick told fellow GOP caucus members he is "incredibly proud of the work of the 'People's House'" which he said has "confronted extremely difficult issues that were not taken lightly by any of us."

McCormick, who faces reelection to his seat on Nov. 8, said he intends to continue to serve in the 99-member House where Republicans hold 73 of the 99 seats.

His not running for majority leader is likely to trigger a major power struggle among the GOP's sometimes-bitterly opposed power factions.

"I am honored to serve the citizens of House District 26 as their Representative in the Tennessee General Assembly and I intend to maintain a strong and intensified commitment to the issues affecting us locally and statewide," McCormick says in a letter sent to fellow Republican lawmakers.

"I will continue to serve my fellow Caucus members as you see fit, however, I announce today that I do not intend to continue as House Majority Leader in the upcoming session," he said in his letter to colleagues.

McCormick said it is "critically important that those in leadership set good examples for all members. Power for the sake of power should not be the ultimate goal of anyone's public service, good governing should. As a senior member of the General Assembly, I have always tried to maintain that perspective and I hope others do the same."