The mother of new House Speaker Kent Williams went to the hospital with heart problems and spent some time in the intensive care unit. It came on the heels of her son being thrown out of the Republican Party and the party running an ad in her hometown paper attacking her son for being a liar.
There was also the phone call she got at home from a phone bank soliciting money to beat her son in the next election. Newspapers in upper East Tennessee saw a connection and asked Williams if the state Republican Party caused his mother to have a heart attack.
Williams, who had to leave session to visit his mother, didn’t deny it and told the Johnson City Press his parents were upset by the attacks and that is why he doesn’t use personal attacks in his own campaigns.
Williams voted for himself and with 49 Democrats to become speaker instead of the majority Republican caucus candidate Jason Mumpower.