Center of political power in Tennessee shifts to one county

Tennessee flag tile

NASHVILLE - Come January, three of Tennessee's five most powerful officials will hail from just one mid-state county, Williamson County.

Gov.-elect Bill Lee and fellow Republican U.S. Sen.-elect Marsha Blackburn both call the affluent GOP stronghold south of Nashville home.

As does the presumed new Tennessee House speaker, Glen Casada, a Republican representative who just last week was nominated for the post by GOP Caucus members, who hold 73 of the chamber's 99 seats.

Lee, a successful businessman, lives near Franklin. Blackburn, currently a U.S. representative, calls Brentwood her home. Casada, who has been serving as House majority leader, lives in Franklin.

It's a geographic power shift of sorts from traditionally Republican East Tennessee not only to Middle Tennessee but to Williamson County.

Lee is succeeding the term-limited Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, a former Knoxville mayor, while Blackburn will take over from Republican Sen.