Major changes ahead for Tennessee Senate

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(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Republican dominated Tennessee Senate will soon see two of its top three leaders step aside, but there appears to be no shortage of those willing to fill the vacancies that could start within months.

“We are going to have a lot of changes,” said Sen. Jim Tracy, who already has a leadership role as Speaker Pro-Tem. “I think we have plenty of people in the Senate who are capable of being good leaders.”

Tracy was referring to word earlier this month that both Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris and Senate Republican Caucus Chair Bill Ketron would be seeking other offices.

When asked about seeking any of the soon to be vacant leadership roles, the senator said “never close any doors” but is “happy” where he is.

Tracy’s current position as Speaker Pro-Tem allows him to fill in from time-to-time for Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, who presides over the Senate.

Along with Tracy, another frequently mentioned name for filling the roles of Norris and Ketron is Williamson County Sen. Jack Johnson.

“I hate to see both of those guys leave because they have been incredible leaders in the state Senate and they are going to leave a tremendous void,” Johnson recently told News 2. “But we have a lot of talent in our caucus to fill those positions–and I am going to consider it, I am.”

The Senate Majority Leader change could come within months if Washington votes on the nomination of Mark Norris to the federal bench.

Another change next year in the Senate could be the seat of Mae Beavers.

She is one of the Republican candidates for governor who cannot run for two offices at the same time.