jeremy faison

Faison wins 4-way race for House GOP Caucus chair

Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby) speaks to colleagues after being elected House Republican Caucus chair in Nashville on Aug. 22, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Rep. Jeremy Faison of Cosby has been elected chair of the House Republican Caucus. The position was vacated by the nomination of Rep. Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) as House speaker.

Faison defeated Rep. Michael Curcio of Dickson in the final ballot on a 40-31 vote. Rep. Patsy Hazlewood of Signal Mountain was eliminated in the second round and Rep. Jerry Sexton of Bean Station failed to clear the first round.

Faison is known for his bombastic persona and his vocal support for legalizing medical marijuana. He has shown an uncanny ability to count votes within the caucus. His prediction for his caucus chair victory was within one vote, and he was almost as close in his count going into the caucus meeting to declare lost confidence in former Speaker Glen Casada in May.

First House Republicans begin to call for Casada to step down as speaker

House Speaker Pro Tem Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville) presents school voucher legislation on May 1, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

The text messaging scandal surrounding House Speaker Glen Casada is now leading some fellow Republicans to call for him to resign from from his leadership post.

House Speaker Pro Tem Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville):

House Majority Whip Rick Tillis (R-Lewisburg) told The Tennessean’s Emily West that Casada “needs to step down.”

Here’s Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby):

Rep. David Hawk (R-Greenville):

The Tennessean reports that a caucus conference call with Casada on Wednesday also included some supportive words from members:

Reps. Andy Holt, R-Dresden, and Susan Lynn, R-Mt. Juliet, offered their support to the speaker.

House Majority Leader William Lamberth, R-Portland, reminded members of the caucus that “the sky is not falling.”

Lamberth added, “This is one of those type things that we just thoughtfully proceed together in whatever direction we need to.”