Tennessee lawmaker calls for Lt. Gov. McNally to resign after ‘perverted’ social media activity

“The bottom line is this: Randy McNally is a predator,” Warner said in the statement.
Lt. Gov. Randy McNally has been asked to step down by a fellow Republican lawmaker.
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 10:59 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 16, 2023 at 11:04 AM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – A Republican lawmaker is calling for the resignation of Tennessee Lt. Gov. Randy McNally after the 79-year-old’s social media activity has come under scrutiny.

State Rep. Todd Warner has accused McNally of “sexually grooming” a 17-year-old minor by commenting “relentlessly” on “nude photos” from his official social media account, sending private messages, calling the victim multiple occasions, and even offering him a job in Gov. Bill Lee’s office, according to a statement obtained by WSMV4.

“Not only have Tennessee Republicans now become the laughingstock of the nation, the bottom line is this: Randy McNally is a predator,” Warner said in the statement.

WSMV4 reported McNally was called a hypocrite after posting positive messages on an openly gay man’s nearly nude photos, despite a voting record not friendly toward the LBGTQ community, according to his critics.

In response for calls for his resignation, McNally said he is committed to working for the state and its people.

“I serve at the pleasure of the members of the Senate and my caucus. As long as I have their confidence, I am committed to the important work of this state,” McNally said in a statement. “We have several pieces of crucial legislation, as well as a budget, to pass. I remain committed to that critical work.”

Warner also accused McNally in the statement of pursuing similar “inappropriate relationships before and after” his recent scrutiny. Warner called on McNally to resign and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to open an investigation.

“Since news broke of this story, Lt. Governor McNally has scrubbed and erased the entirety of his Instagram account to hide the discovery of additional behavior. Let me be clear: these are not the actions of a ‘grandfather’ working to ‘encourage’ Tennesseans. These are the actions of a perverted 80-year-old man looking to fulfill his closeted sexual desires. These are the actions of man using his authority to manipulate others for sexual gratification. These are the actions of a hypocritical man caught redhanded in a scheme to take advantage of at least one underage young man. I call on Randy McNally to step down from his position as Lt. Governor immediately,” Warner wrote.

“As Tennesseans, we should all be incredibly disappointed and horrified by these repulsive actions perpetrated by the sitting Lt. Governor of our state. We all deserve better, and Randy McNally deserves to face the consequences of his highly inappropriate and appalling actions.”

McNally apologized Monday for his recent criticism. He announced he would be “pausing” his use of social media while he took time to educate himself on proper social media etiquette.

“While I see now that I should have been more careful about how my comments and activity would be perceived, my intent was always engagement and encouragement,” McNally said in a statement. “I apologize for any embarrassment my postings have caused my family, friends and colleagues. For this reason, I will be pausing my social media activity in order to reflect and receive more guidance on the use of social media.”

McNally acknowledged “some mistakes” he’s made while using social media but refuted claims by his critics that his voting record as a lawmaker makes him “anti-gay.”

“On a personal level, nothing could be further from the truth. I believe every person has value and deserves respect regardless of their orientation. I am 79 years old and was raised in a time when homosexuality was deeply shameful. And I absolutely still hold traditional Tennessee values dear. But I now have friends and even a relative who is gay. I have worked hard to try and understand this community better, and at the same time not compromise trying to protect children and my own values. I notably came down from the Speaker’s podium to speak against a bill that would have curtailed gay adoption. I have also supported legislation that would protect children and keep obscenity out of the public sphere. And I support traditional marriage. There is no contradiction here.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.