Ketron eyes run for Rutherford County mayor

Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron and Pettus Read, a Rutherford County Commissioner and former communications director for the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation, are both considering a race to succeed Ernest Burgess as Rutherford County mayor in 2018, reports the Murfreesboro Post.

“I am looking at it. I have had several people ask me to,” said Read, 68, who is retired from the Farm Bureau after 44 years.

…Ketron, meanwhile, said he is considering a run and noted his decision would likely depend on what happens by January in Tennessee political circles, largely based on U.S. Sen. Bob Corker and whether he takes a position in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration.

…Ketron paints this possible scenario: If Corker were to become secretary of State under Trump, Gov. Bill Haslam could elevate himself to the U.S. Senate seat, leaving his position to be filled by the lieutenant governor, either current Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey or the likely successor, Sen. Randy McNally, who was recently elected as the Republican Caucus nominee for Senate speaker. Ramsey is not scheduled to leave his post until Jan. 10.

Such moves could put Ketron in a different situation, potentially elevating him to Senate Majority leader from caucus chairman or to Senate speaker, a post he expressed interest in seeking earlier this year when Ramsey announced he would not run for re-election.

…Owner of Universal International Insurance, Ketron served on the Rutherford County Commission from 1990 to 1998 and ran as a Democrat against former County Mayor Nancy Allen but was unable to defeat her. He ran as a Republican in 2002 for state Senate in a former district that included western Rutherford County and several other more rural counties, beating Bobby Sands of Columbia.

Note: Haslam has said he is inclined to appoint a “caretaker” as U.S. senator if Corker leaves for the Trump cabinet — one who would serve only until the 2018 election and not seek election to a full term — and that he does not intend to appoint himself to the position if an opening develops.

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