Rep. Carter pledges 'clean break' as he announces bid to replace Casada as Tennessee House speaker

Top deputy also announces bid, Rep. Smith mentioned as potential candidate

Rep. Mike Carter speaks during the Education Mini-Summit 2016 at the Volkswagen Conference Center on Sept. 20.

NASHVILLE - Republican Rep. Mike Carter announced Wednesday he is running for the Tennessee House speaker post, telling GOP Caucus members in a letter that "if we are to restore public trust, a clean break is imperative" from embattled Speaker Glen Casada.

"I am not asking you to serve me," the Ooltewah attorney said in his letter to the 73-member GOP Caucus. "I am asking for the high honor to serve you and the state of Tennessee."

But Hamilton County could wind up with not one but two candidates in the GOP contest.

Rep. Robin Smith of Hixson told the Times Free Press Wednesday evening that six Republican members called "to talk to me about seriously running. I've had several business folks call me and ask I consider running because of the understanding I have about business, project management and things like that."