The Latest: Tennessee lawmakers replace embattled ex-speaker

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Latest on the Tennessee House electing a new speaker (all times local):

10:50 a.m.

Tennessee state representatives have elected a new House speaker after the former leader became engulfed in multiple scandals involving explicit text messages.

Members of the GOP-dominated state House met for a special legislative session Friday to name Republican Rep. Cameron Sexton as leader of the chamber.

Republican Rep. Glen Casada resigned as speaker Aug. 2 after revelations he exchanged sexually explicit text messages about women with his former chief of staff years ago, among other controversies. Casada remains a House member. He was not present at Friday’s session.

Advocates are also hoping lawmakers will oust Republican Rep. David Byrd, who’s accused of sexual misconduct by three women nearly 30 years ago.

Byrd declined to answer questions from reporters on Friday and instead he would have a statement in “late September.”

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1 a.m.

Tennessee lawmakers are returning in a special session to replace a former speaker who became mired in a scandal involving sexually explicit text messages.

The Republican-supermajority Legislature will convene Friday for an expected one-day session.

GOP Rep. Glen Casada resigned as speaker Aug. 2 after revelations he exchanged sexually explicit text messages about women with his former chief of staff years ago, among other controversies.

Last month, House Republicans nominated Rep. Cameron Sexton as Casada’s replacement. Lawmakers are expected to vote in Sexton as speaker Friday.

Advocates are pressing lawmakers to use the session to expel Republican Rep. David Byrd, who’s accused of sexual misconduct by three women nearly 30 years ago.

Sexton has requested the attorney general’s guidance on whether the House can expel a lawmaker for decades-old conduct.

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