Governor Lee, Rep. Matthew Hill react to commission’s vote in favor of relocating bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – The 11-member Tennessee Capitol Commission took the first step to put the Capitol building bust of Confederate general and early Ku Klux Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest in the state museum on Thursday.

The state comptroller also proposed, and the commission agreed, to send the Tennessee Capitol busts of admirals David Farragut and Albert Gleaves to the state museum.

The issue now goes to the State Historical Commission for a vote, which could be months away.

The commission voted 9-2 in favor of moving the busts from the Capitol.

During Thursday’s vote, Representative Matthew Hill of Jonesborough was one of two members of the State Capitol Commission who voted against the move.

“The only legislators, the only house members I heard from, and I heard from quite a few leading up to today’s meeting, the ones I heard from every single one of them said ‘do not vote to remove it.’ And so as their representative on the capitol commission, I felt it was my job,” Hill said following the vote.

Governor Bill Lee spoke on Thursday, saying that the vote in favor of relocating Forrest’s bust was reached by a process much different than tearing down statues.

It is not clear if the panel would vote on relocating all three busts or just the one of Nathan Bedford Forrest.

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