Carter weighs bid to replace McCormick as Tennessee House majority leader

Rep. Mike Carter speaks during the Education Mini-Summit 2016 at the Volkswagen Conference Center on Sept. 20, where Tennessee legislators from Hamilton County and local education officials discuss the county's public school system.
photo Tennessee House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick laughs Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE - State Rep. Mike Carter, R-Ooltewah, is telling supporters he considering whether to seek the powerful Tennessee House majority leader position being vacated by Rep. Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga.

In a posting on his Facebook page today, Carter, an attorney and former county General Sessions Court judge, said McCormick's decision to not seek re-election to the House's No. 2 post "came as a surprise to many people, myself included. Gerald has been a strong, capable leaders for 6 years and honestly, I'm sorry to see him go."

Carter, first elected to the House in 2012, said he has "been humbled and frankly a little surprised by the amount of encouragement I've received to run for Majority Leader from people in my own district and across Tennessee.

"While my priority between now and Nov. 8 will be helping fellow members win re-election," Carter wrote in his post, "I've decided to listen to supporters and prayerfully consider running for Majority Leader."

McCormick announced earlier this week he would not seek a fourth term as Republican majority leader in the GOP-run House, saying he wanted to devote more time to his business.

Rep. Sheila Butt, R-Columbia, has already announced she is running. House Assistant Majority Leader Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland, is looking at the post as are House Republican Caucus Chairan Glenn Casada, R-Franklin, and House Health Committee Chairman Cameron Sexton, R-Crossvile.

Republicans control 73 of the chamber's 99 seats.

The majority leader typically promotes his or her party's positions on the House floor and is responsible for the legislative package of a governor of the same party.