Lawmakers play ‘musical chairs’ at Tennessee State Capitol

NASHVILLE (WATE) – It’s almost like musical chairs these days at the Tennessee State Capitol. One person gives up their seat and several lawmakers want it and the music of political change begins.

Speaker Harwell is just days into her campaign for governor, but at the capitol there is already talk about who could succeed her. Either way the race goes, Harwell will not be Speaker of the House since she can’t run for governor and her House seat at the same time.

Longtime political analyst Steve Gill says Harwell’s decision to run for governor sets up a lot of change for others as well.

“Well, I think you are going to see 20-25 state House and Senate vacancies as we head into next year,” said Gill. “Most of these folks are trying to set up to run for something else and then you have the domino effect that follows that.”

House Majority Leader Glen Casada is the strongest possibility to succeed Speaker Harwell, but there are other Republicans who might be considered when party members from the House vote on their speaker’s candidate in less than a year and a half.

As for someone who once though of challenging the speaker for her role, Represenative Judd Matheny is not thinking about the position anymore. He says he is out of the state House and headed to the United States Congress.

However, all of this means a lot of change that starts at the top.

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