NASHVILLE -- A rural Tennessee representative is the latest to join the Republican Caucus battle to succeed state House Speaker Glen Casada, warning colleagues in a fiery letter they are losing their way because of "self indulgence and moral corruption."
"It seems that we have forgotten God, Country, and Family," Rep. Jay Reedy of Erin says in his announcement to colleagues. "We hold to self-indulgence and moral corruption that goes against God's [sic] Laws. We turn our backs on our country and family when we come to Capitol Hill and forget why we are elected."
Citing his religious faith and prior experience in the military, the Middle Tennessee lawmaker says "respect and responsibility require much trust!"
And he then cites the U.S. Army's "LDRSHIP" acronym -- loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage -- as his model.
"I have, will, and will take these values to my end," Reedy adds. "I have the ambition, drive, tenacity, self-confidence, and psychological openness, to continue to be the leader for God, Country, and Family! The future of all Tennesseans matter!"
As a result of "much prayers, thoughts, and conversations," Reedy says, "I feel obligated to run for the upcoming open-position of Speaker of the House for the remainder of the 111th General Assembly."
The chairman of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee, Reedy joins a list of already announced and potential candidates to seeking to replace Casada, who earlier this month set an Aug. 2 resignation date to quit the House's top post. That came following a scandal over sexually explicit texts with a then-top aide and a host of other controversies.
Republican Gov. Bill Lee last week announced he would call lawmakers into special session in mid-to-late August to elect a new speaker.
But the Casada replacement contest has really been under way since May 21 when the speaker lost a no confidence vote in the GOP Caucus and came under pressure Republicans, including Lee, to give up the post.
Besides Reedy, other Republicans who have officially announced bid for the GOP Caucus speakership nomination are Reps. Mike Carter of Ooltewah and Curtis Johnson of Clarksville, a former speaker pro tem.
Other Republicans who have shown interest or are actively but unofficially pursuing bids include Rep. Robin Smith of Hixson, GOP Caucus Chairman Cameron Sexton of Crossville, former Caucus Chair Ryan Williams of Cookeville, Jerry Sexton of Bean Station and Deputy Speaker Matthew Hill of Jonesborough.
Winning the GOP Caucus vote is tantamount to winning the speakership since Republicans hold a 73-member super majority in the 99-seat House.
Contact Andy Sher at email@example.com or 615-255-0550. Follow on Twitter @AndySher1.