JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Tennessee State Rep. Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough) said he will seek the Republican nomination for Speaker of the Tennessee House.
Hill made the announcement Wednesday Morning at a Legislative Wrap-up breakfast hosted by the Johnson City Chamber of Commerce.
Embattled current Speaker of the House Glen Casada announced his plans to resign Tuesday – after his Republican caucus voted “no confidence” in his leadership.
This all started after revelations that Casada exchanged racist and sexually explicit text messages about women with his former chief of staff several years ago.
Matthew Hill is one of six local representatives who tells us they voted “no confidence” on Monday in Casada’s leadership.
Hill said he’s gaging support from the caucus and so far – it’s been positive.
“What I’m doing now, is gauging the support from the caucus and if we have a sufficient amount of support there, we’re going to move forward and do our best to get the votes necessary to win,” Hill said.
Hill said he spoke with the speaker one-on-one.
“I spoke with the speaker privately about that and he knows of my disappointment with it. I think that him resigning is the right thing to do,” Hill went on to say “I think it’s caused the people of Tennessee to not trust some of their government officials, and I understand why that is.”
Hill said he has the leadership experience to succeed as speaker.
“I feel like I know what the members want and that is to be treated fairly, to be treated with an even hand, not a heavy hand, and to be allowed to vote their districts,” Hill said.
He said it’s going to take time and hard work to get back on the right path – together.
“Be boring, that’s the main thing, be boring. We’ve got to get back to a sense of normalcy. We’ve got to get back to a sense of honor and integrity, fairness to all members demcrats and republican, conservative and liberal. We need to be fair to everyone. Everyone’s voice should be heard,” Hill said.
Casada is on vacation and said he’ll be back June 3.
We asked Hill about Casada’s timeline to officially resign and if it should have happened immediately.
“I don’t believe in kicking a man while he’s down. I think he understands the gravity of the situation. I think he understands, obviously, what the vote of “no confidence” means and that’s why he has announced he’s going to resign. We’re not in session right now, I think if we were in session, that he would need to resign immediately,” Hill said.
Casada then plans to meet with caucus leaders to figure out the best day to resign – possibly prompting a special session.