Trump nominates GOP activist John Ryder to TVA board

Memphis attorney John L. Ryder, who has served as general counsel at the Republican National Committee for the past five years and as the GOP’s national committeeman from Tennessee, has been nominated to fill the last open seat on the Tennessee Valley Authority, reports the Times Free Press.

President Donald Trump nominated Ryder to fill one of the nine seats on the board that oversees America’s biggest government-owned utility, giving Republicans a majority of the 9-member panel for the first time in nearly eight years. If confirmed in the next couple of months by the U.S. Senate, Ryder could assume the $51,005-a-year, part-time job as a TVA director in time for TVA’s May board meeting in Muscle Shoals, Ala.

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., welcomed the appointment of Ryder, calling the Memphis lawyer “a respected leader in Tennessee” who he said “fully understand’s TVA mission” in the 7-state region served by he federal utility.

Although Corker in the past was critical of TVA board appointments by President Obama who lacked major business or power utility experience, Corker praised Ryder in a statement today.

“He will bring valuable experience to the board, and I am honored to recommend him to my colleagues for swift confirmation,” Corker said.

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said he was glad to join Corker in recommending Trump nominate Ryder.

“John is a respected leader in Shelby County and in our state,” Alexander said in a statement. “He understands that TVA’s mission is to continue to provide cheap, clean, reliable electricity for homes and businesses throughout the Tennessee Valley region. I look forward to his confirmation by the United States Senate.”

Last year, Trump nominated business executives from Georgia, Alabama and Kentucky and the deputy head of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to fill other vacancies on the TVA board after the 5-year terms of those appointed by President Obama ended. Those four Trump nominees were confirmed by the U.S. Senate in December and will participate in their first TVA board meeting on Feb. 16 in Chattanooga.

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