NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Former Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada announced Wednesday he will not seek re-election in November 2022.
Casada, R-Franklin, has served as Caucus Chairman, Majority Leader and Speaker of the House during his 20-year career as a state representative.
“This decision comes after much prayer and thought,” Casada said in a news release. “I am blessed and grateful to have served Williamson County and to have achieved many goals for my constituents, but it is time for a new chapter of public service.”
Casada sponsored the landmark constitutional amendment to ban the personal state income tax and has sponsored numerous conservative initiatives. Several organizations have also honored Casada as the Legislator of the Year throughout his public service career.
“I strongly feel that Katie Beckett will be Glen’s legacy,” Rep. Sam Whitson, R-Franklin, said in a news release. “The law would not have been possible without his support and leadership."
The 2019 Katie Beckett law gave access to life-saving medical treatments and therapies to children with special needs. Casada helped secure funding for the program.
Casada was elected to the House in November 2000 and began his term in January 2001. He supported conservative candidates across the state, and was partially responsible for flipping the House from Democratic control to Republican in 2008 — the first time the Tennessee House had a Republican majority since 1868.
“Rep. Casada is a great friend and a tremendous asset to our community,” Sen. Jack Johnson, R-Brentwood. “I am grateful for his conservative leadership and service to Williamson County and Tennessee.”
Casada’s career in the House hasn’t been without controversy.
After being elected Speaker of the House by his Republican colleagues in January 2019, Casada resigned in August 2019 amid a scandal involving racist and sexist text messages as well as additional allegations of misconduct.
The messages were sexually explicit and in them, Casada asked if he could "just touch" a woman in a photo next to a pole. He defended that message, as well as several others, as "locker room talk."
In January 2021, federal agents were seen taking boxes out of Casada’s Franklin home. Agents also raided Casada’s office along with three other House members inside the Cordell Hull Building. One of them was Casada's former Chief of Staff, Cade Cothren.
Cameron Sexton, the House Speaker, said the raid was part of an ongoing investigation related to Casada.
All the lawmakers involved in the January 2021 scandal had been involved in Casada’s scandals over the years to varying degrees.