House Speaker Casada names senior staff

Newly-elected House Speaker Glen Casada gestures toward his predecessor, Beth Harwell, in the House chamber on Jan. 8, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

New House Speaker Glen Casada (R-Franklin) has named the top staffers for his office.

Here’s the full release:

(NASHVILLE) — Today, Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada (R-Franklin) announced the addition of his new senior staff to assist in the operations of the Tennessee House of Representatives and to help serve the citizens of the state.

Cade Cothren has been named Chief of Staff in Speaker Casada’s office. Cothren will oversee day-to-day operations in the General Assembly for the Speaker and serve as his top advisor and strategist. Under his leadership, Cothren will select and supervise House staff, manage communications and information flow, and negotiate with key stakeholders and groups to implement the Speaker’s agenda. The University of Tennessee graduate previously served as Political Director, Press Secretary, and Director of Communications. At age 31, Cothren is the youngest person to serve in this role in modern history.

Scott Gilmer has been promoted to Director of Operations in Speaker Casada’s Office. A graduate of the University of Tennessee at Martin and Vanderbilt University, Gilmer has more than 12 years of experience in policy, research and management with the House, fundraising, and campaign consulting with the House Republican Caucus. As Director of Operations, Gilmer will work closely with the Chief of Staff to help oversee operational activities, supervise staff, and set strategic goals for the Tennessee General Assembly.

Holt Whitt has been promoted from Director of Policy for the House Republican Caucus to Director of Legislation for Speaker Casada. Whitt has more than 7 years of policy experience working for the House Republicans. As Director of Legislation, he will help supervise the House Research Division, assist in coordinating legislative efforts on behalf of the Speaker, and serve as a policy advisor. Whitt is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University.

Caroline Bonner joins Speaker Casada’s office as Deputy Director of Legislation. Bonner previously served as Policy Advisor for the House Republican Caucus. A graduate of the University of Alabama, Bonner received her J.D. from Lincoln Memorial University’s Duncan School of Law. As Deputy Director of Legislation, she will work closely with the Director of Legislation to create a legislative agenda for Speaker Casada. Additionally, Bonner will perform research on important initiatives, prepare complex and detailed reports and summaries, and work to formulate position statements on pending House issues.

“Cade, Scott, Holt, and Caroline are remarkably gifted and loyal, and I am excited to have them on my team,” said Speaker Casada. “I know they will do an incredible job serving my office and helping our entire General Assembly effectively meet the needs of all Tennesseans.”

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