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Rep. Bill Dunn assumes Speaker role in Tenn. House as Casada resigns

Dunn has served in the General Assembly since 1994 and is currently the longest-serving House Republican member. He is not seeking the speaker role permanently.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Knoxville representative has temporarily assumed leadership duties in the state House.

Rep. Bill Dunn, who serves as speaker pro tem, the second-highest position in the statehouse, began carrying out the duties of speaker on August 2 with the resignation of Glen Casada.

Casada resigned his post after fellow lawmakers on both sides of the aisle called for him to step down after weeks of political controversy. In that role, Dunn will provide over a special session to elect a new speaker.

"Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for the House of Representatives," said Speaker Pro Tem Dunn. "I am eager to move forward so that we can continue to serve our communities and make Tennessee the best state to raise a family, work, and retire."

Dunn has served in the General Assembly since 1994 and is currently the longest-serving House Republican member. He is not seeking the speaker role permanently.

Upon Speaker Pro Tem Dunn acceding to the speaker's role, Republican Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Portland) stated, "I have always admired Bill Dunn's commitment to public service, and I know he will provide a steady hand in the Speaker's office. I look forward to working with him during this upcoming special session as we transition to new leadership under Speaker Select Cameron Sexton."

Sexton, a Republican from Crossville, has been selected as the party's nominee as the next speaker. He currently serves as the GOP Caucus Chair. 

Some of his legislation from the past year included a bill he sponsored that would allow alcohol in Neyland Stadium and Thompson Boling Arena for special events, as well as legislation the made Smokey the state dog. He also has focused much of his legislative work on bills related to opioids. He voted no on the school vouchers bill that came before the House in May. 

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Sexton is an alum of Oak Ridge High School. 

The House is expected confirm him as the next speaker. 

The caucus will meet Aug. 22 to choose a new chair.