After House Speaker Glen Casada announced on Tuesday he will be stepping down from his leadership position, state lawmakers are starting to consider who would replace him.
Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville, is next in line, which technically makes him Casada’s immediate successor. But it’s unclear if he will pursue the top leadership post.
Dunn, who currently holds the ceremonial position of speaker pro tempore, told WPLN he thinks a special session will be needed for members to elect the next speaker.
Dunn has been in the House for 25 years and said other Republican members have encouraged him to consider the position, but he says he hasn’t made a decision.
"Being the speaker, it’s really never been my dream," Dunn said. "It may turn out it’s my duty."
Dunn says he's talking to other lawmakers, his staff and others for guidance.
"Other members who are interested in being speaker ... need to talk to different people, and the more information we have, the clearer the picture comes on the way forward," he says.
The opening comes after Casada lost an unprecedented no-confidence vote of Republicans in the House on Monday. That followed a massive backlash after lewd and other inappropriate text messages were leaked to the media.
While Glen Casada is resigning as speaker, he has not signaled he's stepping down as a state representative.
But the Times Free Press reports one of Casada's opponents, Rep. Mike Carter of Ooltewah, is calling for a special session to oust him from the chamber entirely.