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NASHVILLE - The Tennessee Republican Party has run an advertisement in House Speaker Kent Williams' hometown newspaper to denounce the man they booted from the GOP earlier this week.

The ad in the Elizabethton Star says Williams betrayed the core values of the party when he allowed himself to be nominated and elected speaker of the House by the chamber's 49 Democrats.

The ad also complains that Williams assigned the best office space and staff to Democrats.

Williams' election staved off a comprehensive takeover by House Republicans, who had gained a one-vote majority in November's elections.

Since Williams' ouster from the party, Republicans and Democrats now each have 49 seats in the House, along with one independent.

The speaker divided committee assignments equally between the two parties.

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