Jockeying for PositionVeteran Knoxville Republican State Representative Harry Brooks has announced that it is his intention to seek the Speaker's chair in the next General Assembly in a Tuesday press release:
“I am reaching out to Republican House members and candidates because we have an opportunity to set a new agenda, create a new atmosphere, and accomplish much for the people of Tennessee.
“I anticipate that we are going to have a Republican governor and Republican majorities in both the House and the Senate,” Brooks added. “This is an opportunity for us to vastly improve education, and serve Tennesseans in ways that will benefit them for generations.”
There are some fine people in the General Assembly, which is worth remembering when we as voters and citizens pick out and talk about the bad apples in Nashville all the time. Harry Brooks is one of the most genuine people that can be found in the Tennessee House. Brooks does have a reputation as a moderate, but in talking to Brooks one-on-one-and The Examiner has-more than anything else Brooks tends to be a problem solver. His background as an educator lends itself to finding solutions that work and in finding ways to give Tennessee schools all the help that they deserve without putting too much of a strain on our State's already-stretched budget.
Harry Brooks might make a fine Speaker, but the House Republican Caucus should be concerned that Brooks, Rep. Beth Harwell (R-Nashville), and Rep. Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga) have all made it clear that they want to run for Speaker of the House. It is almost certain that House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada (R-Franklin) will also stand. In Session is also reporting that former House Republican Leader Bill Dunn is a potential candidate as well. If that is the case, it would be quite a reversal, since Dunn has repeatedly said both privately and publicly that he has no interest in the Leadership, which the Speaker would essentially be. In response to repeated Leadership teases and queries, Dunn has said that he felt "delivered" from such a position. It is no secret whatsoever that some of us would do anything that is legal and ethical to try to make Bill Dunn the Speaker of the Tennessee House.
Announcements of candidacies for Speaker among House Republicans should wait until after the General Election, because if members concern themselves with who is going to be Speaker before they win the November election, the GOP will suffer the same fate as the Democrats in 2008, and there will be a spirited election for Minority Leader.