Tennessee Republicans declared Monday that they've lost faith in House Speaker Glen Casada after an unprecedented vote by rank-and-file GOP members.
Senior Republican leaders released a letter calling on Casada to resign, and Gov. Bill Lee announced he's ready to call a special session if the Franklin Republican does not do so.
That came after the House GOP caucus met behind closed doors for nearly three hours this afternoon in a downtown Nashville hotel to deliberate the speaker's fate. They voted 45-24 for a non-binding resolution stating they have no confidence in his leadership.
"Today House Republicans sent a clear message," Lee said.
Casada has served nearly 20 years in the state House of Representatives and has been a top leader for more than a decade. He became speaker last January, following the retirement of Nashville Republican Beth Harwell.
Casada joined the legislature when it was still run by Democrats, and his accomplishments include helping to build the Republican Party's nearly three-quarters majority in the state House of Representatives. A skilled campaigner and fundraiser, Casada has assisted in the recruitment and strategies of dozens of Republican lawmakers.
But he's also been dogged by questions about his personal life. While running for House majority leader in 2016, Casada publicly denied rumors that he had an extramarital affair.