Tennessee Senate GOP renominates speaker, picks new leader

Friday, November 30, 2018, Vol. 42, No. 48

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Senate Republicans have renominated Randy McNally as speaker and have chosen Jack Johnson as the new majority leader.

McNally won unopposed for another two-year speaker term during Senate caucus elections Monday. The Oak Ridge lawmaker first became speaker in 2017.

Johnson defeated Sen. Mike Bell of Riceville for majority leader. Former Majority Leader Mark Norris left to become a federal judge.

Senate Republicans selected Ken Yager of Kingston as caucus chairman. Ex-caucus chairman Bill Ketron left to take office as Rutherford County mayor.

Republican Gov.-elect Bill Lee spoke at the meeting's outset. He listed focuses on vocational, agricultural and technical education; sentencing reforms, re-entry programs and justice reform; and economic improvement in struggling rural counties.

The House and Senate will cast their official leadership votes in January.