Casada considering bid for vacant whip position

Rep. Glen Casada (R-Franklin) greets colleagues during a House Republican Caucus meeting in Nashville on Jan. 14, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

A proposal to allow the House majority whip position to remain vacant for the rest of the year has been abandoned and the caucus now plans to hold a vote on Jan. 27. Speculation immediately turned to whether Rep. Glen Casada, who was driven from the House speakership last year, might jump in the race.

Casada (R-Franklin) tells The Tennessee Journal he hasn’t yet made up his mind. But it wouldn’t be the first time he’s made a leadership rebound. Casada was widely seen as the Republican favorite to be nominated speaker in 2010, not least because of the fierce opposition by then-ascendant tea party forces to Beth Harwell’s bid. But Casada ended up losing to Harwell (R-Nashville).

Instead of sending him into internal exile, Harwell decided to keep Casada in the fold by naming him chairman of the Health Committee. He received high marks in that role but was soon back to focusing on politics over policy after winning back his former post as House Republican Caucus chairman two years later. But Casada increasingly became a thorn in Harwell’s side in that role (and later as majority leader) by encouraging GOP colleagues to pursue hot-button bills as he began preparing for his own speaker’s bid.

The House majority whip’s main responsibility in election years is to oversee incumbents’ reelection efforts. The position is open because of the resignation of Rep. Rick Tillis (R-Lewisburg) amid a caucus fight over anonymous Twitter posts. The post has previously been held by the likes of Rep. Timothy Hill (R-Blountville) and former Rep. Jeremy Durham (R-Franklin).

26 Responses to Casada considering bid for vacant whip position

  • Phil Lassiter says:

    It would be a good move to put Casada back into leadership. A lot of GOP fundraisers and direct mailers need him to keep their influence up. Casada’s addition to leadership will keep all these folks working come election time, including the ones that were previously exiled due to cocaine, sexual harassment and sending threatening, anonymous-intended letters.

    • Cannoneer2 says:

      Are you serious?????

      • Phil Lassiter says:

        Yes. This is the machinery that keeps politics running. If you want effective-and I mean truly effective-politicians then you have to have wealth and the accompanying apparatus. Sorry if don’t like it. Just a reality in this environment

        • Cannoneer2 says:

          I want “machinery” with ethics. The Democrats have no chance to regain control at all anytime soon, so we don’t need to compromise at this point. I saw promise for the whole system when he was removed as Speaker, but maybe I was wrong.

          • Dixie Lee says:

            “…so we don’t need to compromise at this point.” means exactly what?

          • Cannoneer2 says:

            It means that we aren’t forced to choose someone with severe ethical deficiencies for leadership positions, even if they have a big bankroll.

    • Keith says:

      “… keep all these folks working come election time, including the ones that were previously exiled due to cocaine, sexual harassment and sending threatening, anonymous-intended letters.”

      This is the epitome of the Trump Republican Party. I keep wondering where exactly is the straw that breaks the back for my Republican friends who, though disagreeing on specific issues, truly want better government. If no one steps up, the party is doomed to dig it’s own well-deserved grave.

      • Stuart I. Anderson says:

        You squeaky clean government types underestimate the effect that the leftward lurch of the Democratic Party has on the average Republican. There is a palpable fear among Republicans of the Democratic Party’s ability and willingness to change every facet of our society so as to make it less free and less prosperous to the extent that there is no appetite among the vast majority of Republicans for a internecine war waged on other than ideological grounds. The Republican establishment, on the other hand, is simply interested in government doing nothing but assisting members of the Chamber/Business Round Table/NAM etc. I’m afraid the extremism of the Democratic Party has unified the Republican Party in ways that you don’t find pleasing Keith, but I wonder how you feel about the Democrats.

        • Cannoneer2 says:

          There is not much of a Democratic Party to worry about in Tennessee. Don’t run scared! The Dems in the legislature will still almost fit into a phone booth. Good government executed by people of integrity will win the day. Sit back and let the Rogue’s Gallery run the show, and it will tick off a lot of conservatives who don’t necessarily hold the Republicans in high regard in the first place.

        • Blue Lady says:

          Surely Casada will not be elected Whip!

  • Stuart I. Anderson says:

    Rick Tillis, one of the Toadying Ten who don’t want anything to interfere with liberal Democrats voting in Republican primaries is gone and good riddance. What I wonderful idea to replace him with some conservative who will add ideological rigor to the Republican House majority like Glen Casada. As we live through the third term of the Haslam administration with Gov. Lee if it’s anything Republicans in the House desperately need is ideological rigor.

  • James White says:

    send him into external exile

  • LeeAnn C. says:

    I assume Casada still has a big bank account. The only tone deaf legislators that would support him at this point would be those looking for financial assistance in their reelection bids. I don’t think he should even be a representative, much less in leadership. His style is a dramatic contrast to Speaker Sexton. In hope his constituents find a more suitable individual to represent them in years to come.

  • Steve Steffens says:

    Casada should be in prison, not the General Assembly.

  • Phil Lassiter says:

    Sexton and Casada both tried to do away with the electoral college so six of one-half a dozen of the other. If Sexton can generate the kind of dollars Casada can then time to move on The two together can perhaps make a LOT OF MONEY

  • Benton Temple says:

    Casada wants to be a big wig politician so badly. This guy is bad news, needs to be primaried and kicked out of our GOP.

  • Donna Locke says:

    Maybe Ann-Margret.

  • Misty Pardner says:

    Pretty simple why he wants to be Whip. Whip is chair of the campaign committee. Campaign committee picks general election races where caucus money goes. Campaign committee picks vendors that do campaign material for those running.

    Casada hires vendors. friends, colleagues or even a former chief of staff to work on general election campaigns. Caucus campaign account is about 600k. That’s some good coin to help out some out of work friends.

    Another bonus for Whip Casada. He helps people get elected, re-elected. He is the Knight in shining armor. That relationship leads to loyalty and what does that get you? Votes. This whip election is a vote counting test for Casada. If he can get elected as whip he will have at least 37 votes. He gets people elected, re-elected, he’s running for Speaker this November.

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      I can personally testify that he also responsible for the election of rigorous conservatives by directing campaign contributions to their campaigns. Glen Casada, just the type of person we need at the forefront of the Republican campaign efforts so that the party has a purpose other than being a shill for the Chamber of Commerce.

      • Lenny says:

        Maybe Cocaine Casada will bring back his “son,” the fried chicken bathroom “Minute Man”

      • Benton Temple says:

        Stuart, you have lost your mind. Being morally bankrupt, like Casada is NOT conservative. It’s OK to be a good person in politics AND conservative at the same time. I know that’s hard to understand, but my goodness sir, just stop shilling for the absolutely worst people in Tennessee politics.

      • James White says:

        The end is Never justified by immoral/amoral means. NEVER !

      • Cannoneer2 says:

        He mentored and supported fine, upstanding young Republican proteges, with rock solid moral and ethical compasses…. like Rep. Jeremy Durham.

  • CollegeGrover says:

    In 43 years I have never seen a party leadership more out of touch with rank & file voters than the Tennessee Democrat Party has been in the last several years. All the problems with the GOP elected officials and they still can’t gain any meaningful traction.

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