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Disgraced former Tennessee speaker won’t seek reelection

November 10, 2021 GMT

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP) — State Rep. Glen Casada, who resigned as House speaker in 2019 amid scandals after serving only months in the position, announced on Wednesday that he would not seek reelection to the state legislature.

Casada, a Republican from Franklin, has been a state lawmaker since 2003 and also has served as caucus chairman and majority leader in the House.

“This decision comes after much prayer and thought,” Casada said in a statement. “I am blessed and grateful to have served Williamson County and to have achieved many goals for my constituents, but it is time for a new chapter of public service.”

Casada noted several accomplishments including his sponsorship of a constitutional amendment to ban the personal state income tax as well as numerous conservative, anti-abortion and pro-business initiatives.

He resigned from the top leadership post in August 2019 after revelations he exchanged sexually explicit text messages about women with his former chief of staff years ago. Despite that, he was easily reelected to the House in 2020.

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Other controversies included an aide’s cocaine use at a legislative office years ago and allegations of doctoring emails to frame a young black activist — which Casada and the aide both denied.

Casada initially resisted calls from inside his GOP caucus to step down as speaker. However, as the scandals persisted and the caucus voted they no longer had confidence in his leadership, he finally consented.

Casada was also one of several Republican state House lawmakers whose homes and legislative offices were searched by federal agents earlier this year. Federal authorities have release scant details about what they were looking for.