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Former Tennessee House speaker confirmed to utility board

December 20, 2020 GMT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The U.S. Senate has confirmed the nomination of a former Tennessee House speaker to the board of directors of the nation’s largest public utility.

In a news release Saturday, Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander praised the confirmation of Beth Harwell to the Tennessee Valley Authority board.

President Donald Trump nominated Harwell in January.

Alexander said Harwell worked with the TVA on several issues during her time in the Legislature.

She “understands how important it is for TVA to continue to provide cheap, clean, reliable electricity for homes and businesses throughout the seven-state Tennessee Valley region,” Alexander said.

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Harwell, a longtime Nashville Republican lawmaker, was elected speaker in 2011. She left the role and the Legislature in her unsuccessful 2018 bid for governor.

Since leaving office, Harwell also has been hired as a visiting professor of political science at Middle Tennessee State University.

The Tennessee Valley Authority serves almost 10 million people in parts of seven southeastern states.