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Revision as of 07:33, 30 July 2013

Tennessee House of Representatives

Seal of Tennessee.jpg
General Information
Type:   Lower house
Term limits:   None
2015 session start:   January 8, 2013
Website:   Official House Page
House Speaker:  Beth Harwell, (R)
Majority Leader:   Gerald McCormick, (R)
Minority Leader:   Craig Fitzhugh, (D)
Members:  99
   Democratic Party (26)
Republican Party (73)
Independent (1)
Length of term:   2 years
Authority:   Art III, Tennessee Constitution
Salary:   $19,009/year + per diem
Last Election:  November 6, 2012 (99 seats)
Next election:  November 4, 2014 (99 seats)
Redistricting:  Tennessee Legislature has control
Meeting place:
TN State Capitol 2.JPG
The Tennessee House of Representatives is the lower house of the Tennessee General Assembly, the state legislature of Tennessee. 99 members make up the lower chamber of the Tennessee General Assembly and meet at the State Capitol in Nashville. Representatives have two-year terms and all 99 are up for election in the same 2-year cycle. Each member represents an average of 64,102 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented approximately 57,468 residents.[2]

As of April 2015, Tennessee is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.


The Tennessee General Assembly, which the House is a part of, convenes on the second Tuesday in January on the years following elections as outlined by Article II, Section 8 of the Tennessee Constitution. The legislature is limited to 90 paid legislative days within a two year term.


See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 8 through April 19. Republicans had a supermajority for the first time since the Civil War era.

Major issues

Major issues in the 2013 legislative session included guns, school vouchers, and tax cuts to wine in grocery stores.[3]


See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the House was in session from January 10 through May 1.

Major issues

Republican legislators began the session by passing new congressional and state legislative maps, but redistricting may remain a major issue as Democrats have threatened a lawsuit over the new districts. Republican leaders said the session will focus on job creation and eliminating policies and regulations that restrict businesses, including the inheritance tax, and reforming unemployment insurance.[4]


See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions

In 2011, the House will be in session from January 11 through mid May. [5]


See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions

In 2010, the House was in regular session from January 12th to June 10th. Additionally, the General Assembly met in special session from January 12th to January 25th to deal with educational issues related to Race to the Top funds.[6]

Ethics and transparency

Open States Transparency

See also: Open States' Legislative Data Report Card

The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Tennessee was given a grade of C in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data was to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A: Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.[7]



See also: Tennessee House of Representatives elections, 2012

Elections for the office of Tennessee House of Representatives will be held in Tennessee on November 6, 2012. All 99 seats were up for election.

The signature filing deadline was April 5, 2012.

This chamber was mentioned in a November 2012 Pew Center on the States article that addressed supermajorities at stake in the 2012 election. Supermajority generally means a party controls two-thirds of all seats. While it varies from state to state, being in this position gives a party much greater power. Going into the election, Republicans in the Tennessee House have a solid majority and are seeking a supermajority.[8]

The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.


See also: Tennessee House of Representatives elections, 2010

Elections for the office of Tennessee House of Representatives were held in Tennessee on November 2, 2010. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was April 1, 2010 and the primary election day was on August 5, 2010.

In 2010, the candidates for state house raised a total of $9,478,590 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: [9]


To be eligible to serve in the Tennessee House of Representatives, a candidate must be:[10]

  • A U.S. citizen
  • 21 years old before the general election
  • A three-year resident of Tennessee before the general election
  • A county resident for 1 year prior to the general election
  • A qualified voter
  • The following situations would eliminate a candidate from qualifying for office:
    • Those who have been convicted of offering or giving a bribe, or of larceny, or any other offense declared infamous by law, unless restored to citizenship in the mode pointed out by law;
    • Those against whom there is a judgment unpaid for any moneys received by them, in any official capacity, due to the United States, to this state, or any county thereof;
    • Those who are defaulters to the treasury at the time of the election, and the election of any such person shall be void;
    • Soldiers, seamen, marines, or airmen in the regular army or navy or air force of the United States; and
    • Members of congress, and persons holding any office of profit or trust under any foreign power, other state of the union, or under the United States.


See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures
How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures
NevadaMassachusettsColoradoNew MexicoWyomingArizonaMontanaCaliforniaOregonWashingtonIdahoTexasOklahomaKansasNebraskaSouth DakotaNorth DakotaMinnesotaIowaMissouriArkansasLouisianaMississippiAlabamaGeorgiaFloridaSouth CarolinaIllinoisWisconsinTennesseeNorth CarolinaIndianaOhioKentuckyPennsylvaniaNew JerseyNew YorkVermontVermontNew HampshireMaineWest VirginiaVirginiaMarylandMarylandConnecticutConnecticutDelawareDelawareRhode IslandRhode IslandMassachusettsNew HampshireMichiganMichiganAlaskaVacancy fulfillment map.png

In Tennessee, there are two ways a vacancy can be filled in the House. When twelve months or more remain in a unfilled term, a special election must be held within the allowable time frame set by law. If less than twelve months remain in a term, members of the State House must vote on a replacement[11].


See also: Redistricting in Tennessee

The state's redistricting process is handled by the General Assembly, with the Governor wielding veto power.

2010 census

Tennessee received its local census data on March 16, 2011.[12] The state's population rose 11.5 percent to 6,346,105.[13]

The redistricting process began in January 2012; it was the first time in the state's history where the process was controlled entirely by Republicans. The two chambers passed maps, both of which Governor Bill Haslam signed. While Senate Democrats threatened a lawsuit, House Democrats went through with filing one in March, arguing that the House map unnecessarily split too many counties.


Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state houses
Party As of April 2015
     Democratic Party 26
     Republican Party 73
Total 99

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Tennessee State House of Representatives from 1992-2013.
Partisan composition of the Tennessee State House.PNG


See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2013, members of the Tennessee Legislature are paid $19,009/year. Legislators receive $173/day per diem tied to the federal rate.[14]

When sworn in

See also: When state legislators assume office after a general election

Tennessee legislators assume office the 15th of January following the election.


The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the body. Duties of the Speaker include preserving order and decorum and appointing all committee and subcommittee members and officers. In the event that the Speaker is absent, the Speaker Pro Tempore assumes the duties of the office.[15][16]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, Tennessee House of Representatives
Office Representative Party
State Speaker of the House Beth Harwell Ends.png Republican
State House Speaker Pro Tempore Curtis Johnson Ends.png Republican
Deputy Speaker of the House Steve McDaniel Ends.png Republican
State House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick Ends.png Republican
State House Majority Caucus Leader Glen Casada Ends.png Republican
State House Assistant Majority Leader Kevin Brooks Ends.png Republican
State House Assistant Majority Caucus Leader Dennis Powers Ends.png Republican
State House Majority Whip Cameron Sexton Ends.png Republican
State House Majority Floor Leader Vance Dennis Ends.png Republican
State House Assistant Majority Floor Leader Jeremy Durham Ends.png Republican
State House Majority Caucus Secretary David Alexander Ends.png Republican
State House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Assistant Minority Leader Joe Towns, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Minority Caucus Leader Michael Turner Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Minority Caucus Vice Chair Joe Pitts Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Minority Caucus Secretary Barbara Cooper Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Minority Floor Leader Lois DeBerry Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Minority Whip Sherry Jones Electiondot.png Democratic

Current members

Current members, Tennessee House of Representatives
District House of Representatives Party Assumed office
1 Jon Lundberg Ends.png Republican 2006
2 Tony Shipley Ends.png Republican 2008
3 Timothy Hill Ends.png Republican 2012
4 Kent Williams Republican Party Carter County Republican 2006
5 David Hawk Ends.png Republican 2002
6 James Van Huss Ends.png Republican 2012
7 Matthew Hill Ends.png Republican 2004
8 Art Swann Ends.png Republican 2010
9 Mike Harrison Ends.png Republican 2002
10 Tilman Goins Ends.png Republican 2012
11 Jeremy Faison Ends.png Republican 2010
12 Dale Carr Ends.png Republican 2012
13 Gloria Johnson Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
14 Ryan Haynes Ends.png Republican 2008
15 Joe Armstrong Electiondot.png Democratic 1988
16 Bill Dunn Ends.png Republican 1994
17 Andrew E. Farmer Ends.png Republican 2012
18 Steve Hall Ends.png Republican 2010
19 Harry Brooks Ends.png Republican 2002
20 Robert Ramsey Ends.png Republican 2008
21 Jimmy Matlock Ends.png Republican 2006
22 Eric Watson Ends.png Republican 2006
23 John W. Forgety Ends.png Republican 2010
24 Kevin Brooks Ends.png Republican 2006
25 Cameron Sexton Ends.png Republican 2010
26 Gerald McCormick Ends.png Republican 2004
27 Richard Floyd Ends.png Republican 2006
28 JoAnne Favors Electiondot.png Democratic 2004
29 Mike Carter Ends.png Republican 2012
30 Vince Dean Ends.png Republican 2006
31 Ron Travis Ends.png Republican 2012
32 Kent Calfee Ends.png Republican 2012
33 John Ragan Ends.png Republican 2010
34 Richard B. Womick Ends.png Republican 2010
35 Dennis Roach Ends.png Republican 1994
36 Dennis Powers Ends.png Republican 2010
37 Dawn White Ends.png Republican 2012
38 Kelly Keisling Ends.png Republican 2010
39 David Alexander Ends.png Republican 2010
40 Terri Lynn Weaver Ends.png Republican 2008
41 John Windle Electiondot.png Democratic 1994
42 Ryan Williams Ends.png Republican 2010
43 Charles Curtiss Electiondot.png Democratic 1994
44 William G. Lamberth Ends.png Republican 2012
45 Courtney Rogers Ends.png Republican 2012
46 Mark Pody Ends.png Republican 2010
47 Judd Matheny Ends.png Republican 2002
48 Joe Carr Ends.png Republican 2008
49 Mike Sparks Ends.png Republican 2010
50 Bo Mitchell Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
51 Michael Turner Electiondot.png Democratic 2000
52 Mike Stewart Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
53 Jason Powell Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
54 Brenda Gilmore Electiondot.png Democratic 2006
55 Gary Odom Electiondot.png Democratic 1986
56 Beth Harwell Ends.png Republican 1988
57 Susan Lynn Ends.png Republican 2012
58 Harold M. Love Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
59 Sherry Jones Electiondot.png Democratic 1994
60 Darren Jernigan Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
61 Charles Sargent, Jr. Ends.png Republican 1996
62 Pat Marsh Ends.png Republican 2008
63 Glen Casada Ends.png Republican 2000
64 Sheila Butt Ends.png Republican 2010
65 Jeremy Durham Ends.png Republican 2012
66 Joshua Evans Ends.png Republican 2008
67 Joe Pitts Electiondot.png Democratic 2006
68 Curtis Johnson Ends.png Republican 2004
69 David Shepard Electiondot.png Democratic 2000
70 Barry Doss Ends.png Republican 2012
71 Vance Dennis Ends.png Republican 2008
72 Steve McDaniel Ends.png Republican 1988
73 Jimmy Eldridge Ends.png Republican 2002
74 John Tidwell Electiondot.png Democratic 1996
75 Tim Wirgau Ends.png Republican 2010
76 Andrew H. Holt Ends.png Republican 2010
77 Bill Sanderson Ends.png Republican 2010
78 Mary Littleton Ends.png Republican 2012
79 Curtis Halford Ends.png Republican 2008
80 Johnny Shaw Electiondot.png Democratic 2000
81 Debra Moody Ends.png Republican 2012
82 Craig Fitzhugh Electiondot.png Democratic 1994
83 Mark White Ends.png Republican 2010
84 Joe Towns, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic 1994
85 Johnnie Turner Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
86 Barbara Cooper Electiondot.png Democratic 1996
87 Karen Camper Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
88 Larry Miller Electiondot.png Democratic 1994
89 Roger Kane Ends.png Republican 2012
90 John Deberry, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic 1994
91 Vacant
92 Billy Spivey Ends.png Republican 2012
93 Goffrey A. Hardaway Electiondot.png Democratic 2006
94 Barrett Rich Ends.png Republican 2008
95 Curry Todd Ends.png Republican 1998
96 Stephen McManus Ends.png Republican 2006
97 Jim Coley Ends.png Republican 2006
98 Antonio Parkinson Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
99 Ron Lollar Ends.png Republican 2006

Standing committees

House of Representatives
SLP badge.png
House Committees

Agriculture and Natural Resources
Business and Utilities
Calendar and RulesCivil Justice
Consumer and Human Resources
Criminal JusticeEducation Administration and Planning
Education Instruction and Programs
Finance, Ways, and Means
Government OperationsHealth
Insurance and Banking
Local Government
State Government

Joint Committees
Senate Committees

The Tennessee House has 14 standing committees:


Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Tennessee’’
Partisan breakdown of the Tennessee legislature from 1992-2013

From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Tennessee State House of Representatives for first 18 years while the Republicans were the majority for the last four years. The Tennessee House of Representatives is one of 18 state Houses that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. Tennessee was under Republican trifectas for the final three years of the study.

Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.

Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of Tennessee, the Tennessee State Senate and the Tennessee House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of Tennessee state government(1992-2013).PNG

External links