Byrd removed from subcommittee chairmanship following anti-voucher vote

Embattled Rep. David Byrd (R-Waynesboro) attends a House Education Committee meeting in Nashville on March 28, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Embattled state Rep. David Byrd (R-Waynesboro) has been removed as chairman of House education subcommittee a day after voting against Gov. Bill Lee’s school voucher proposal.

House Speaker Glen Casada (R-Franklin) announced the move Thursday, The Tennessean reports.

“Following discussions with members of the House and after careful consideration, I have formally asked Representative Byrd to step down from his position as chairman of the House Education Administration Subcommittee,” Casada said a statement.

Byrd’s chairmanship has been the subject of regular protests at the legislative office complex over allegations of sexual misconduct with teenage basketball players when he was their high school coach in the 1980s. Byrd was overwhelmingly re-elected in November despite revelations that he apologized to one of the women in a recorded phone call.

“Representative Byrd agrees that this is the best path forward in ensuring the House of Representatives can focus on the issues that truly matter to all Tennesseans. This decision is based on input from members and to continue the orderly operations of the House,”  Casada said in the statement.

Byrd has long been a target of school choice proponents for his steadfast opposition to voucher legislation. This year’s voucher bill cleared the House Education Committee on Wednesday on a 14-9 vote. Byrd was among four Republicans who voted against the measure.

Casada supported Byrd during his re-election campaign, and had defended appointing him to his subcommittee chairmanship until Thursday.

UPDATE: Casada’s chief of staff, Cade Cothren, told reporters it would be an “absolute lie” to suggest Byrd’s removal as chairman was linked to his voucher vote.

13 Responses to Byrd removed from subcommittee chairmanship following anti-voucher vote

  • James White says:

    Casada reminds me of a dictator. The Tennessee Totalitarian Taliban strikes again. Sine Die.

  • Michael Lottman says:

    This is an outrageous example of a legislator being punished for voting his conscience. Not the last illegitimate exercise of pier we can expect from Casada.

    • Susan says:

      Oh, please. Voting his conscience or voting in accordance with his strong union ties? Byrd carries more water for the teachers union than anyone else up there. Politics is about relationships and if someone wants a relationship with Jim Wrye more than he does with his Party’s leadership it looks like there are finally going to be consequences. That’s fine with me.

      • Cannoneer2 says:

        Well… education is his profession, and they have just as much right to collective representation as the businesswhiners (NFIB, Chamber of Commerce, etc.)

        • MarLE says:

          Her comment was that his motivation (which you also correctly identified as union-motivated) was being mislabeled as representing his conscience.

  • James White says:

    Hey Stuart, I see you man Dr. Green voted for the U.S. Tax payers to pay for Europe’s energy solution to get away from Putin’s Russia. Yes he voted for US to pay for their Solar panels, windmills, smart grid, and gas pipe lines. European Energy Security and Diversification Act, H.R.1616
    Yeah Neocon to the bone!

    • MarLE says:

      When you want to control the world there are really only 2 ways…..force or money.

      • James White says:

        MarLE you are correct. The tools of the enemy are: War, Money, Hatred.

        • MarLE says:

          I was speaking of the US. We spend more than the top 6 other nuclear powers of the world combined. We have 800 bases in 70 countries as compared with 30 bases occupied by Russia, France and Britain combined. And I am sure we spend tons more in foreign aid. When you want to control the behavior of the rest of the world you need plenty of 2 things~ force and money.

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  • James White says:

    Update? “Casada’s chief of staff, Cade Cothren, told reporters it would be an “absolute lie” to suggest Byrd’s removal as chairman was linked to his voucher vote.” HA HA HA !!!!

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