Republicans eye Casada, Harwell as House speaker

Monday, November 15, 2010 at 6:05pm

The newly robust House Republican Caucus will meet Thursday for the first time to choose between Reps. Beth Harwell of Nashville and Glen Casada of College Grove as their nominee for speaker.

Republicans were notified of the election, to be held in a meeting at the AT&T Tower in downtown Nashville, in a letter Monday from both Casada and Harwell.

“[W]e want to begin the process of governing, and the sooner we can get this internal caucus election past us, the quicker we can undertake this task,” the letter said. “With a class of 22 new freshmen and 64 total caucus members, it is important for us to begin the work that our citizens expect of us. By voting on Thursday, this will ensure us the ability to do just that.”

Harwell, a former state party chair, has come under fire from Second Amendment advocates and Tea Party groups who claim she’s too moderate politically to run the House. She opposed the controversial guns-in-bars law in the last legislature. Casada has been chairman of the House GOP political caucus and a champion of conservative causes.

The speaker in the last General Assembly, Kent Williams, endorsed Harwell as his successor. Williams is an independent who decided against running for another term after Republicans gained 14 seats in the House in November’s election.

“I hear it’s pretty tight. It’s pretty close,” Williams said Monday of the Casada-Harwell contest. “Anybody who says Beth Harwell is not a Republican is an idiot. She’s raised probably more money for Republicans through her years than anyone.”


14 Comments on this post:

By: govskeptic on 11/16/10 at 7:16

Quotes from Williams and basis for a story are rather
laughable. This the "Republican Speaker" that was
selected by only one Republican vote: His own. This
new majority will not need Mr. Williams's nor any of the
Democratic members to help select who they want to serve
as the incoming Speaker. One would expect a Conservative
to be selected, but with the Country Club Group in control
for so long it's anyone guess!

By: girliegirl on 11/16/10 at 8:00

Harwell seems to be quite liberal, as her area reflects at every voting chance they get. Casada, not so much. And he's very charming and charismatic, should you get the chance to meet the man. If the Reps are looking for a true non-Rhino leader, it'd have to be Casada. But if they're voting for "Most Popular" on the Hill, then it's clearly Harwell. (just sayin')

By: pswindle on 11/16/10 at 9:06

Let's sit back and let the GOP destroy each other. They are so good in destroying nice people with a different view.

By: ncpreader on 11/16/10 at 9:08

govskeptic and girliegirl...I just have to laugh when people think that anyone in office who is not slammed up against the right wall is deemed a liberal.

It is akin to:
Person 1 : "hey, would you date that girl?"
Person 2: " No , not really"
Person 1: " Oh, so you're saying you're gay !
Person 2: " No, I just dont think she's attractive"
Person 1: " I think she's attactive, so you must be gay!"

This is the sad world we live in.

Bwaa Haa Haa ! I would laugh if I knew I didn't have to breathe the same air as the uninformed, ignorant masses that are goaded on by FOX. I used to work in right wing radio until I realized it is just there for entertainment, but people are taking it seriously and they are really ignorant of the way things really work in politics.

Is there any middle ground with folks out there in world? How can a person have any successful business, political or personal relationship if they always have to get their own way based on "principal"?
As a former restauteur, I don't want guns in friggin' bars, 2nd amendment or not.
It is just plain stupid. People get tanked up and need their gun? Well, I guess it's their right as an American. It is also my right as an American to not have a drunk packing a pistol. Get REAL PEOPLE.

Harwell is NO LIBERAL. You are both articulate, educated people. It is time for you to look inward and get off of this " if you are not slammed up against the right wall, you are a liberal" mentality.


By: FLeFew on 11/16/10 at 11:12

I am so happy to now know the definition of a conservative ... one who supports Guns In Bars!!!!

Years of support for conservative causes doesn't count.
Being Party Chair when the Republicans took the Senate doesn't count.
Being party Chair and recruiting good conservatives like Casada and helping them raise money to increase the Republicans in the house by 6 doesn't count.

But voting for guns in bars does.

By: Henry Walker on 11/16/10 at 12:36

Who are you and what have you done with Jeff Woods? This story could have been written by an intern.

The main reason I read Pith or the city paper's political stories is to get Woods' unique brand of unvarnished analysis. Do you really think that political blogs by Betsy Phillips can replace him?

Why is your franchise player sitting on the bench?

By: govskeptic on 11/17/10 at 6:18

Only the democratic posters are defining the Conservatives
as those supporting "Guns in bars". On the other hand
it appears the RINOS change their postings and positions
daily to fit the blowing winds. There were voters that helped
elected this majority that weren't business owners nor members
of any Country Club~and make no apology for doing so to
those that think they "have and will run the party" forever!

By: Anna3 on 11/17/10 at 7:20

Harwell has NEVER built the grassroots base in Davidson County. IN FACT...She hates them! She and her henchmen (Myrna Elmer - Barbara Outhier-Patricia Heim - Lynn Greer et al..Have you ever seen a more arrogant group?. ) have opposed grassroot Republicans for years (See Beth's endorsement of Douglas Henry over the party nominee, see her henchmen work over Eric Crafton, fight Katheryn Starnes as Chairwoman etc. The honest truth is that Beth cannot allow any room for growth in Davidson County because it could degrade into a challenge to her in a primary. Beth loves being the BIG fish in the ever so tiny Davidson County pond. Beth loves being the token Republican in the county for Dean, Odom, Turner, and Gary makes her feel important. Beth has never looked out for average people...only herself and Ted Welch. Memo to Beth Harwell...Did you not see this day coming? You will lose the speakership, EVEN if you win it because you do not represent average people...the voters of Tennessee. I hate the fact that Beth only wants the job so that she can "Be the first woman speaker in history..." rather than do something with the job! Guess what Beth...We tried that in Washington and it didn't work out so well! Go away and keep working hard to keep Democrats in charge of Nashville! You are good at it!

By: jCitizen on 11/17/10 at 7:53

I haven't agreed with Harwell 100%; but looking at her overall service, there is no reasonable way to label her a "RINO" and "moderate" is a stretch.


We now have only two choices.

The best choice, is the best person... The best leader.

The best choice is Beth Harwell.

Glen Casada has character problems that should embarrass him
and WILL EMBARRASS the new Republican majority:

*Known to tell one person one thing and someone else another.
*Committed to financial support of Republican Candidates and then welshed on it. He lied.
*Made deal to keep Durham -Naifeh's man- as Clerk!
(Naifeh choosing House Clerk and Chief of Staff needs to end)
*Serious skirt chaser even on the clock at work. Ask around.
(You haven't heard the half of it. The Dems have evidence they hope to use AFTER Casada is elected or to make deals with in the mean time.)

Casada's "Conservative creds" might matter if he could keep his pants zipped. He thought that marital fidelity mattered when he was running for Caucus Chair so it should matter now. Perhaps Glen Casada once listened to his conscious and the people but now he only listens to his ego and his penis.

That's not the kind of person Tennessee needs in leadership!

By: HenryB on 11/17/10 at 8:01

I certainly hope the GOPers choose Harwell. Casada is a very polarizing figure -- not just a conservative but an in-your-face, disagree-with-me-at-your-own-peril conservative. That's not the kind of leadership we need to pull our economy out of the doldrums.

By: govskeptic on 11/17/10 at 10:49

In your face partisans were OK for many years from
Speaker Naifeh and the entire Memphis Mafia,
but all of a sudden we must now have a soft spoken
femine touch and go along to get along Speaker!
Maybe we can all agree on Rep. Mike Turner as just the
right one for the job.

By: Corky204 on 11/21/10 at 10:31

Anna3, can't help but shake my head at your recent attack on Harwell. What happened since Feb 11 when you claimed that Harwell's support of Crafton was more than enough for you to trust her to give Crafton your vote? Sure doesn't sound very genuine now. Maybe that makes you someone who can't be trusted?!?!?

By: Anna3 on 2/11/10 at 3:00
PS- I just got a press release from the Crafton campaign where Beth Harwell said... "I think EricCrafton will do an excellent job as Juvenile Court Clerk. He has had a heart for helping and being an advocate for Nashville’s children for a long time.” I trust Beth and so Mr. Crafton definitely has my vote!

By: TimSkow on 11/22/10 at 3:26

Anna3 -- Your comments are neither accurate or warranted. The "henchmen" line about the members of the local Nashville Republican Women group are wildly out of bounds - as every Republican candidate who has had the benefit of their help will verify. Disagree with Beth on policy, procedure or politics if you like -- but at put your name to it. [I've done it.. so far she hasn't shot anyone who has disagreed with her.] You may consider yourself a Republican, but you clearly proving yourself NOT to be a "Reagan Conservative" -- otherwise you'd follow "Reagan's 11th Commandment" when it comes to fellow Repbulicans. [or perhaps you believe your approach to politics is more worthy than President Reagan's ]
Shame on you for the personal attacks you made. If you don't like something, get your butt of the couch and into the game. Recruit a candidate, run yourself but STOP the whining! Come build the group. County Party elections are in March... get in the game instead of crying from your computer. There is plenty to do.. and if you feel the need to say something, have the intestinal fortitude to step up and put your name to it.. or pin your lip. Tim Skow

By: meeechelle on 11/22/10 at 7:24

Bravo, Mr. Tim Skow
Michelle L. Miller