McNally new Tennessee Senate speaker; Harwell wins in House

Randy McNally hugged by Ron Ramsey (Photo: WKRN)
Randy McNally hugged by Ron Ramsey (Photo: WKRN)

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Randy McNally has been elected as the new speaker of the Tennessee Senate and fellow Republican Beth Harwell has unanimously won a fourth term in charge of the House.

The votes came as lawmakers convened the 110th Tennessee General Assembly on Tuesday.

The legislative session is expected to be dominated by debate over Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s efforts to boost transportation funding, likely through the first gas tax hike since 1989.

Randy McNally (Photo: WKRN)
Randy McNally (Photo: WKRN)

That discussion comes against the backdrop of several lawmakers – including Harwell – who are mulling bids to succeed the term-limited governor next year.

McNally succeeds Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, who chose not to seek re-election.

Ramsey became the first Republican Senate speaker since Reconstruction when he was elected to the upper chamber’s top post in 2007.