Reactions to the sudden passing of Rep. Bill Beck

Lawmakers attend a House floor session in Nashville on March 16, 2020. Watching from the gallery are, from left, Reps. Johnny Garrett (R-Goodlettsville), Bob Freeman (D-Nashville), and Bill Beck (D-Nashville). (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

State Rep. Bill Beck (D-Nashville) died of a heart attack over the weekend at age 61. The attorney was first elected to the House in 2014. He was a fierce advocate for his constituents, but also well liked across the aisle.

Here are some reactions to Beck’s passing made through statements or social media postings:

House Minority Leader Karen Camper (D-Memphis):

Bill Beck was one of my closest friends. He was not only my colleague, but also my confidant. His warmth, intellect and passion for people made the House of Representatives a better place. Bill was well respected by members on both sides of the aisle. No matter the political differences or issues, Bill would always find the humanity in a situation.  Any encounter with Bill made your day better.  I will miss his laugh and his counsel.  He was truly the best of us and I cannot imagine the world without Bill Beck in it.

House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville):

We are incredibly saddened to hear that our colleague, Rep. Bill Beck, has unexpectedly passed away. Bill was a dedicated servant and powerful voice for the city of Nashville, a husband, father, and friend to everyone in the General Assembly.

House Democratic Caucus Chair John Ray Clemmons (D-Nashville):

Today we lost a brother, and we are devastated. Our hearts go out to Pam, Meredith and Bill’s entire family. Bill and I entered the legislature together, and it was a true honor to serve with and learn from him. He was a source of advice, inspiration and much-needed levity for me and many others at the most crucial moments. Everyone privileged enough to ever cross Bill’s path knows what a special person and caring individual he was. He truly had a public servant’s heart and the most memorable laugh.

State Rep. Justin Pearson (D-Memphis):

Bill Beck spoke up against the injustice of our expulsions with tact & leadership that’s lacking in the Tennessee General Assembly. He served well & wasn’t afraid of speaking against racist, discriminatory, and immoral legislation targeting Nashville. God grant him peace.

Secretary of State Tre Hargett:

I am saddened to learn about the passing of Rep. Bill Beck. He was smart, witty, and passionate. He treated others with respect, and he served our state well. Please lift up his family in your prayers.

State Sen. Rusty Crowe (R-Johnson City):

Please join me in praying for Rep. Bill Beck’s friends and family tonight. Bill was a lifelong servant of our great state, and was a friend to many.

Nashville Mayor John Cooper:

Bill Beck was a constant charming and kind presence. He brightened every room with his grace and wit, and he made politics better for us all. Bill was a true friend, and we will miss him everyday. Our prayers are with his wife Pam & their family as we all mourn this tragic loss.


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