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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Don't get my hopes up

That's what I'm trying to tell myself after a conversation about the Tennessee General Assembly last night. A well-connected friend tells me that Lt. Governor John Wilder is more than likely to retain his Senate speaker post in January. Tennessean columnist Larry Daughtrey seems to agree.

In my friend's opinion, that may not be a bad thing because of the bipartisanship Wilder has maintained by granting Republicans committee chairmanships in the past. Ron Ramsey, the current Republican challenger, isn't known for building bridges to the other side. Maybe my friend is right, but I have a hard time hoping for Wilder to remain in office.

According to this friend, there are two senators who can land the 17 votes needed to serve as speaker: Wilder and Randy McNally, a Republican who is more moderate and bipartisan than Ramsey, from my limited understanding of the Hill. Here's hoping McNally gets a shot.

What about Joe Haynes, who is attempting to unseat Wilder as the Democratic opponent? Here's where things might get really messy. If Ramsey were to run against Haynes, a 16-16 tie might leave the current speaker, Wilder, to cast the deciding vote. Guess what happens if Wilder refuses to vote? He remains as speaker, leaving Haynes and Ramsey on the outside looking in. Yep, that's the Tennessee State Senate for you.


lhafner said...

Good Analysis! I'm a fellow Sylvan Park resident who follows politics pretty closely.

Rob Robinson said...

Thanks. I guess we'll see just how good it is in a month or so, ha ha. Glad to hear from someone else in the neighborhood. :)