Reps. Hazlewood, Carter lose faith in Tennessee Speaker Glen Casada amid text messaging scandal, other issues

Ooltewah representative Mike Carter says it's 'difficult for Speaker Casada to lead effectively'

Representative Mike Carter, Tennessee-R, addresses the crowd gathered at the Hamilton County Department of Education on Tuesday.
photo Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada, R-Franklin, speaks after being sworn in on the opening day of the 111th General Assembly in January in Nashville.

NASHVILLE - In one of multiple blows Thursday to Tennessee Republican House Speaker Glen Casada's efforts to put a text messaging scandal behind him, state Rep. Patsy Hazlewood said "it would be best" if Casada steps down, while Rep. Mike Carter called it "difficult" for the embattled speaker "to lead effectively" going forward.

Calling the situation "so distressing," Hazlewood, R-Signal Mountain, said legislators have "done so many good things, I feel, this year" and pointed to passage of "good, conservative legislation," a state budget that "really does a lot of positive things," tax cuts and the largest investment ever in public education.

"We've