Tennessee House of Representatives: Wikis


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Tennessee House of Representatives
Type Lower house
Speaker of the House Kent Williams, (Carter County Republican)[1][2]
since January 13, 2009
Republican Leader Jason Mumpower, (R)
since January 13, 2007
Democratic Leader Gary Odom, (D)
since January 13, 2007
Members 99
Political groups Republican Party
Democratic Party
Last election November 4, 2008
Meeting place
Tennessee state capitol house chamber 2002.jpg
House Chamber,
Tennessee State Capitol, Nashville, TN, U.S.

The Tennessee House of Representatives is the lower house of the Tennessee General Assembly, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Tennessee.


Constitutional requirements

According to the state constitution of 1870, this body is to consist of 99 members elected for two-year terms. In every even-numbered year, elections for state representative are conducted simultaneously with the elections for U.S. Representative and other offices; the primary election being held on the first Thursday in August. Seats which become vacant through death or resignation are filled by the county commission (or metropolitan county council) of the home county of the member vacating the seat; if more than a year remains in the term a special election is held for the balance of the term.


Members are elected from single-member districts. The districts are traditionally numbered consecutively from east to west and north to south across the state; however, in recent redistricting this convention has not always been strictly adhered to, despite a constitutional provision requiring districts to be numbered consecutively.

Districts are required to be reapportioned every ten years following the federal census in order to be of substantially equal population. However, from 1902 until 1962, the General Assembly ignored this provision. It was estimated that by that point that some districts in the Memphis area had approximately ten times the population of some in rural areas. In 1962 this issue was taken to court. Despite U.S. courts having traditionally declined to rule on such issues, the US Supreme Court opted to hear this case and ruled that the legislature had to comply with the state constitution, as its failure to do so was in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (see Baker v. Carr). Subsequent litigation has further refined the rules regarding this; in the late 1990s a majority-black district in rural West Tennessee was required to be created. Following the 2008 legislative elections, the House consisted of 50 Republicans and 49 Democrats.

The 1960s redistricting was credited by some observers with creating the first Republican majority in the Tennessee House since Reconstruction in 1968; this situation lasted only until the next election in 1970. 1970 also marked the first election of a Republican governor in a half century and saw both houses of the legislature begin to assert themselves as a counterbalance to executive authority; prior to this time legislators had not had their own staffs or even their own offices and were largely at the mercy of what the governor's staff chose to tell them and in many ways were often something of a "rubber stamp."

Speaker of the House

The speaker of the House of Representatives is the presiding officer of the House. The speaker is elected to a two-year term at the beginning of the 1st half in each Session of the Tennessee General Assembly. Additionally, the speaker is second in line for succession to the governorship,after the Speaker of the Tennessee Senate, in the event of such need . The speaker appoints members to all committees as well. Even though the speaker does not have to make committee assignments proportional to the party composition, usually that discretion is used when determining such. Usually consideration to the abilities, preferences, party representation, and seniority of the members are taken into consideration. The chairperson, vice chairperson, and secretary of each committee also are chosen by the speaker and must be given the same considerations in their selection. The speaker is a voting member of all standing committees of the House, as is the speaker pro tempore. The speaker also serves as co-chairperson of the Joint Legislative Services Committee and must approve, in concurrence with the speaker of the Senate, the directors of the offices of Legislative Information Services, Legal Services, Legislative Administration and Legislative Budget Analysis. Additionally, is in charge of all facilities, professional and clerical staff, custodians and security personnel of the House. [3]

The current Speaker is Kent Williams of Carter County, who was elected on January 13, 2009 with a 50 - 49 margin over Representative Jason Mumpower.

Composition of the 106th General Assembly—2009-2010

When the 106th General Assembly took office in January 2009, there were 50 Republicans and 49 Democrats. After Kent Williams was elected speaker with Democratic support and was subsequently stripped of his Republican affiliation by the state party, he declared himself a "Carter County Republican," leading to a split of 49-49-1. A special election in late 2009 elected a Republican to fill a vacancy in a seat formerly held by a Democrat, resulting in the following party composition for the second session:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
* Democrats: 48
+ Republicans: 49 +
* Carter County Republican: 1
Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Republican Democratic Carter County
End of previous legislature 46 53 0 99 0
Begin 50 49 0 99 0
February 10, 2009 49 1
July 1, 2009[4] 48 98 1
September 24, 2009[5] 48 97 2
October 13, 2009[6] 49 98 1
January 12, 2010[7] 50 99 0
Latest voting share 50.5% 49.5%
  • Speaker Kent Williams declared himself a "Carter County Republican" after being stripped of his affiliation by the Tennessee Republican Party.


  • Speaker of the House of Representatives: Rep. Kent Williams (Carter County Republican)
  • Speaker Pro Tempore: Rep. Lois DeBerry (D)
  • Deputy Speaker: Rep. Steve McDaniel (R)
  • Speaker Emeritus: Rep. Jimmy Naifeh (D)

House Republican Caucus Leaders

House Democratic Caucus Leaders


District Name Party Counties represented
1 Jon Lundberg Republican Sullivan in part
2 Tony Shipley Republican Sullivan in part
3 Jason Mumpower Republican Johnson and part of Sullivan
4 Kent Williams, Speaker Carter County Republican[2] Carter
5 David Hawk Republican Unicoi and part of Greene
6 Dale Ford Republican Washington in part and Hawkins
7 Matthew Hill Republican Washington in part
8 Joe McCord Republican Blount in part and Sevier in part
9 Michael Harrison Republican Hancock and part of Hawkins
10 John Litz Democratic Hamblen
11 Eddie Yokley Democratic Cocke and part of Greene
12 Richard Montgomery Republican Sevier in part
13 Harry J. Tindell Democratic Knox in part
14 Ryan Haynes Republican Knox in part
15 Joe E. Armstrong Democratic Knox in part
16 Bill Dunn Republican Knox in part
17 Frank S. Niceley Republican Knox in part
18 Stacey Campfield Republican Knox in part
19 Harry Brooks Republican Knox in part
20 Bob Ramsey Republican Blount in part
21 Jimmy Matlock Republican Loudon in part and Monroe in part
22 Eric Watson Republican Meigs, Polk, and part of Bradley
23 Mike Bell Republican McMinn and part of Monroe
24 Kevin Brooks Republican Bradley in part
25 Eric H. Swafford Republican Cumberland and part of Bledsoe
26 Gerald McCormick Republican Hamilton in part
27 Richard Floyd Republican Hamilton in part
28 Tommie F. Brown Democratic Hamilton in part
29 Joanne Favors Democratic Hamilton in part
30 Vince Dean Republican Hamilton in part
31 Jim Cobb Republican Hamilton in part and Rhea
32 Dennis Ferguson Democratic Roane
33 Jim Hackworth Democratic Anderson in part
34 Donna Rowland Republican Rutherford in part
35 Dennis E. Roach Republican Claiborne, Grainger, and part of Jefferson
36 Chad Faulkner Republican Campbell and Union
37 Bill W. Harmon Democratic Sequatchie, Van Buren, Grundy, and Marion
38 Les Winningham Democratic Clay, Jackson, Pickett, Scott, and part of Anderson
39 George W. Fraley Democratic Franklin, Moore, and part of Lincoln
40 Terri Lynn Weaver Republican DeKalb, Smith and Macon
41 John Mark Windle Democratic Fentress, Morgan, and Overton
42 Henry Fincher Democratic Putnam in part
43 Charles Curtiss Democratic White and parts of Putnam and Warren
44 Michael Ray McDonald Democratic Sumner in part
45 Debra Young Maggart Republican Sumner in part
46 Stratton Bone Democratic Wilson in part
47 Judd Matheny Republican Coffee and part of Warren
48 Joe Carr Republican Rutherford in part
49 Kent Coleman Democratic Rutherford in part
50 Gary W. Moore Democratic Davidson in part
51 Mike Turner Democratic Davidson in part
52 Mike Stewart Democratic Davidson in part
53 Janis Baird Sontany Democratic Davidson in part
54 Brenda Gilmore Democratic Davidson in part
55 Gary Odom Democratic Davidson in part
56 Beth Harwell Republican Davidson in part
57 Susan M. Lynn Republican Sumner in part and Wilson in part
58 Mary Pruitt Democratic Davidson in part
59 Sherry Jones Democratic Davidson in part
60 Ben West, Jr. Democratic Davidson in part
61 Charles Michael Sargent Republican Williamson in part
62 Pat Marsh Republican Bedford and parts of Lincoln and Rutherford
63 Glen Casada Republican Williamson in part
64 Ty Cobb Democratic Maury in part
65 Eddie Bass Democratic Giles and Marshall
66 Joshua Evans Republican Robertson
67 Joe Pitts Democratic Montgomery in part
68 Curtis G. Johnson Republican Montgomery in part
69 David Shepard Democratic Dickson and part of Hickman
70 Joey Hensley Republican Lawrence, Lewis, and part of Wayne
71 Vance Dennis Republican Hardin, McNairy, and part of Decatur
72 Steve McDaniel Republican Henderson, Chester, and parts of Decatur and Wayne
73 Jimmy A. Eldridge Republican Madison in part
74 John C. Tidwell Democratic Houston, Humphreys, Perry, and parts of Hickman and Maury
75 Willie Butch Borchert Democratic Henry, Benton, and Stewart
76 Mark L. Maddox Democratic Weakley and part of Carroll
77 Judy Barker Democratic Obion, Lake, and part of Dyer
78 Phillip Johnson Republican Cheatham and parts of Montgomery and Williamson
79 Curtis Halford Republican Gibson and part of Carroll
80 Johnny Shaw Democratic Hardeman and part of Madison
81 Jimmy Naifeh, Speaker emeritus Democratic Haywood and part of Tipton
82 Craig Fitzhugh Democratic Lauderdale, Crockett, and part of Dyer
83 Mark White Republican Shelby in part
84 Joe Towns, Jr. Democratic Shelby in part
85 Larry Turner Democratic Shelby in part
86 Barbara Cooper Democratic Shelby in part
87 Karen Camper Democratic Shelby in part
88 Larry J. Miller Democratic Shelby in part
89 Jeanne Richardson Democratic Shelby in part
90 John J. Deberry, Jr. Democratic Shelby in part
91 Lois M. DeBerry Democratic Shelby in part
92 G. A. Hardaway Democratic Shelby in part
93 Mike Kernell Democratic Shelby in part
94 Barret Rich Republican Fayette and parts of Hardeman and Tipton
95 Curry Todd Republican Shelby in part
96 Steve McManus Republican Shelby in part
97 Jim Coley Republican Shelby in part
98 Ulysses Jones, Jr. Democratic Shelby in part
99 Ron Lollar Republican Shelby in part


  1. ^ Republicans kick Williams out of party: Tennessee House Speaker vote spurs action "I remain a Carter County Republican with the same principles that brought me to the General Assembly in the 2006 elections."
  2. ^ a b Speaker Kent Williams
  3. ^ http://www.capitol.tn.gov/house/speaker.html
  4. ^ Democrat Curt Cobb (D-62) resigned
  5. ^ Republican Brian Kelsey (R-83) resigned
  6. ^ Republican Pat Marsh elected to succeed Cobb. [1]
  7. ^ Republican Mark White elected to succeed Kelsey (R-83). [2]

See also

External links


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