Shuck and Jive

Monday, February 09, 2009

Kent Williams Ousted from GOP

Carter County Tennessee Representative and Speaker of the House, Kent Williams, has been ousted by fellow Republicans.

State GOP leader Robin Smith says the Tennessee Republican Party voted to strip Representative Kent Williams of Elizabethton of his Republican status.

Last month, Williams caused an uproar by garning the support of every democrat to win the speakership by one vote over Jason Mumpower. He was the first Republican to be elected speaker in 40 years.

As a result, Republicans lose their 50-49 majority in the state House.
Here is Kent's statement about it on

NASHVILLE – Robin Smith has determined that I am not a Robin Smith Republican—-that is a Republican in her mold.

I have hoped for some time that my party would work to build a bigger tent, a more inclusive tent. My hopes may have been in vain. The tent Robin Smith wants is a small tent. A narrow-minded tent. A tent with no room for alternative ideas.

No matter what type tent she wants for the State Republican Party it is clearly not the tent of the Carter County Republican Party. I remain a Carter County Republican with the same principles that brought me to the General Assembly in the 2006 elections.

I own a small business and as reported in the Tennessean on this past Sunday I have a 100% voting record with the National Federation of Independent Businesses. I am a supporter of Second Amendment Rights to bear arms. I am a supporter of SJR 127, the anti-abortion constitutional amendment. I do not want Government involved in all aspects of our citizens’ lives.

I believe all members of the General Assembly should be treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve. I believe all legislation should receive a fair hearing. I believe we have a lot of capable and smart people in the House from both parties. In this time of crisis we need to utilize all of this talent and harness everyone who has the desire and ability to be a leader.

Apparently, these are not the traits of a Robin Smith Republican. She has made her decision. So be it.

Now let us move past this distraction and get to the real work at hand. This is a challenging time in our history. The people of Tennessee expect and deserve our very best as we move forward to address the major challenges before us.

Balancing the budget while still funding those items that are essential to keeping our state progressing will be a difficult task, but it is one that the General Assembly is up to if we join hands and work toward the common goal of what is best for the people of our state. We have a lot of work to do. We have to put our distractions behind us, join hands and work together.

Let’s move forward.

Here are previous posts I made about this story:
  1. Attaboy, Kent Williams!
  2. Fun with Tennessee Politics
  3. Hissy Fit


  1. I love Kent's response to this action. First Class.

  2. Too funny. If a Republican works with the opposition then they are not a Republican anymore, hilarious.