Tennessee Dems Call For House Speaker To Resign Over Racist, Sexually Explicit Texts

State Capitol of Tennessee, Nashville (Photo by: Joe Sohm/Visions of America/UIG via Getty Images)
May 7, 2019 12:43 p.m.

The Democratic caucus in the Tennessee House is calling for Speaker Glen Casada (R) to resign or be removed following the explosive revelations of texts between him and his ex-chief of staff Cade Cothren who stepped down under the weight of the scandals on Monday night.

“Casada’s chief of staff Cade Cothren resigned yesterday after recent media reports that he used illegal drugs in the legislative building, solicited oral sex from an intern in a text message and also sent racist and sexist texts to others, including the Speaker,” they wrote in a statement. “It is now clear that Speaker Casada participated in numerous acts that make his continued service as Speaker untenable.”

Texts first given to Nashville’s NewsChannel 5 reveal exchanges between the two including lecherous messages about women and the sharing of a racist meme.

But, as Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Stewart told TPM, Tennessee has a Republican super majority in both chambers and a Republican governor, leaving it up to the party to decide if they want to oust their own member.

“The Republicans have to decide if this is the kind of leadership they want to represent them,” he said.

“I hear that there are many more texts and documents, much more to be revealed,” he added. “This is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Casada maintained Tuesday morning that he would not resign, insisting that he enjoys “overwhelming” support from his caucus. In a familiar turn, he dismissed his explicit texts as “locker room talk.”

Read the Democrats’ full letter here:

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