Crossville Republican Cameron Sexton has been elected speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives at a special session this morning.
Sexton, who has been in the legislature for nine years, was elected unanimously. Ninety-four lawmakers voted in favor, with two voting present.
In a speech to the full body of the House, Sexton pledged to work towards uniting the lower chamber, by allowing space for differences of opinions.
"The good news is we agree on a lot more than we disagree on — we all want great schools, great jobs, great infrastructure and great healthcare," Sexton said. "The challenge is we will not always agree in the pathway to get there. But, together, we will get there."
Sexton also called on his colleagues in the Republican supermajority to respect the Democratic delegation.
Sexton's election comes after a turbulent year in the state house. He is replacing embattled former speaker Glen Casada, who was elected to the top post in January but forced to step down earlier this month following a series of scandals and complaints about a leadership style sometimes viewed as stifling dissent.
Casada was absent for the special session. Sexton promised lawmakers a more open approach.
"We won't always agree on every issues, but I will always make sure that your voice is heard."