TN House Speaker Glen Casada (on Breaking BG)

Rep. Glen Casada (R-Franklin)

A friend and fellow lawmaker from Franklin said House Speaker Glen Casada should resign.

State Rep. Sam Whitson is the latest in a long line to say it.

It's over inappropriate messages Casada exchanged with his former chief of staff.

Now lawmakers are calling for a special meeting.

State Rep. Jason Zachary from the Knoxville area requested it. He tweeted it's to talk about the direction moving forward in the House.

What's still unclear is if Casada will be part of that plan.

"Sometimes you have to be loyal to the institution more so than to yourself," Whitson said.

Whitson considers Casada a friend.

He's also familiar with misconduct. Whitson replaced former state Rep. Jeremy Durham when he was expelled from office in 2016.

Whitson told News4 he didn't take the decision about Casada lightly.

"It's totally out of character for what you would expect from someone in his position," Whitson said.

News4 knocked on Casada's door on Thursday, but he didn't answer.

Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada issued a statement on Wednesday taking “complete ownership” of his inappropriate text messages about women exchanged with his former Chief of Staff Cade Cothren and expressing “my sincere disappointment” for the messages Cothren sent to another person that included racial slurs, drug use and other inappropriate comments.

In a previous statement, he apologized about the text messages he exchanged with his former chief of staff.

"It’s embarrassing and humbling to have it displayed in this manner," he said in a written statement.

"He should resign. He should allow someone to hold that office that's got the trust and confidence of the people of Tennessee," John Harris with the Tennessee Firearms Association said.

The Tennessee Firearms Association generally leans conservative. Harris said lawmakers need to act and replace Speaker Casada with someone else.

"Whoever holds that office needs to be a person of integrity that you can trust when they give their word that you believe to be honest," Harris said.

There are two ways Casada can be removed.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee can call for a special session, which he has said it's too early for.

The other option is for Zachary and fellow lawmakers to request a special session and vote to remove Casada.

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Reporter

A graduate of the University of Florida, Cameron joined News4 in December 2018.

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