Top Democrat says speaker’s office scandal ‘energizing people’ across Tennessee


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The scandal in the Republican House speaker’s office is “energizing people” politically says the state’s top Democratic party official. 

“Republicans knew what they were getting when they elected him speaker,” says Tennessee Democrat Party chair Mary Mancini. “What the Republican scandal and Glen Casada’s behavior is doing is energizing people…across the state to kind of step up and make their voice heard in a number of different ways.”   

While House Republicans last week gave Speaker Casada an overwhelming “no confidence” vote for a variety of behaviors–including some sexist texts–during his four months in office, Mancini says Democrats are seeing a response to it at the grassroots level. 

Mancini says that energy translates into numbers for places like rural McMinn county where a handful often show up at party events in past years and recently there were a hundred. 

“When you are looking a county like McMinn which is rural Tennessee and you are seeing that kind of energy and activism,” added the Democrat leader. “That is not just happening there, but in all 95 counties across the state.” 

How well it translates into the ballot box will be an ongoing task for Democrats who hold only about a fourth of the seats on Tennessee’s Capitol Hill, but Mancini maintains “elections are going on all the time” in municipalities across the state where Democrats are making inroads.   

Speaker Casada says he’ll set a timetable for his resignation from the post when he meets with Republican House leaders next week after a European vacation. 

Tennessee’s Republican Party chair likely sees things differently.  

His take on his party “moving forward” from the speaker’s scandal next week. 

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