Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has officially set a date for a special session to replace embattled House Speaker Glen Casada.
In a tweet on Wednesday morning, Lee said he’s asking the legislature to reconvene for a special session on Aug. 23 at 10 a.m.
Lee’s announcement comes weeks after top GOP leaders requested him to call for the meeting to replace Casada. He told reporters this month he intended to do, but his action Thursday made it official.
Casada said he plans to step down on Aug. 2. The top Republican lost a no-confidence vote from the House Republican Caucus after sexist and lewd text messages between him and his former chief of staff were leaked to the media.
Deputy Speaker Bill Dunn is the next in line to succeed Casada, but Dunn told WPLN this week he is not planning on running to become the next permanent house speaker, opening the door to a more competitive race for the speakership.
So far, four Republicans have announced their candidacies: Matthew Hill, Jay Reedy, Curtis Johnson and Mike Carter.
The nominee will be selected at a GOP Caucus meeting on July 24. Because Republicans hold a supermajority in the House, their nominee is more than likely to become the chamber's leader.
"My colleagues and I are eager to move Tennessee forward," said House Majority Leader William Lamberth in a statement Wednesday.
Expulsion Vote Not Included
Lee has also left the door open for legislators to take up other issues, although he didn't put them on the agenda.
One of them is the expulsion of Casada. Some Republican lawmakers have publicly said they’d like Casada to not only step down as Speaker, but also get kicked out of his seat as a representative.
Then, there's the issue of Rep. David Byrd, R-Waynesboro. Lee says it’s time for Byrd to address allegations of sexual assault against him, but he has not yet asked the legislature to take action.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Cameron Sexton was running to be House Speaker.