Casada loses confidence vote, 45-24

House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Portland) and Republican Caucus Chairman Cameron Sexton of Crossville speak to reporters about a no-confidence vote on House Speaker Glen Casada’s leadership. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican House Speaker Glen Casada was dealt a stunning rebuke by his caucus on Monday in a 45-22 vote to declare the members had lost confidence in his ability to lead the chamber.

Casada, who was only elected speaker in January, had hoped to weather the storm surrounding his office following revelations he had engaged in lewd text message exchanges with his former chief of staff, and that the aide had once taken cocaine in his office and propositioned interns and lobbyists.

The meeting was closed to the media. A secret ballot determined the outcome.

Casada told members he will work to regain their confidence in the coming months, meaning he doesn’t plan to step aside.

UPDATE: State Republican Party Chairman Scott Golden is now calling for Casada to resign:

The vote of no confidence by the Republican caucus sends a clear message; it is time for the Speaker to heed the advice of the majority of his fellow legislators and step down from his position of leadership and allow someone else to begin the process of restoring the trust of all Tennesseans.

UPDATE 2: House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Portland) is calling for a special session to replace Casada:

After today’s vote, it is time for the Speaker to resign, and I hereby request Governor Lee call a special session by the end of June for the House to choose a new Speaker.

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