And another one bites the dust.
There are at least four state Senate seats open next year, and the leading Republican candidates for each one are giving up a House seat—and the four comprise some of the most vociferous critics of House Speaker Kent Williams. They will not be around to vote in the next speaker’s election.
The latest is state Rep. Mike Bell, who is running for the seat being vacated by the retiring state Sen. Dwayne Bunch, from Bradley County. State Rep. Stacy Campfield, from Knoxville, is running for state Sen. Tim Burchett’s seat. State Rep. Brian Kelsey is running for the seat vacated by the scandal-plagued state Sen. Paul Stanley and state Rep. Susan Lynn is running for the seat being given up by state Sen. Mae Beavers. (Beavers and Burchett are both running for county mayor in their respective districts.)
Williams became speaker with votes from Democrats and has been cast out of the state Republican Party. But, in bizarro world, he is hosting a fund-raiser in Knoxville on Friday with Republican caucus members as co-hosts to raise money for Republican legislative candidates. Running against the Democrats who voted for him. To elect members of the party that refuses to let him be a member.