Hawk announces Tennessee House speaker bid in contested race

Rep. David Hawk (Photo credit: Tennessee General Assembly)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee Republican Rep. David Hawk has announced that he is running for state House speaker, setting up a contested race to succeed Speaker Beth Harwell.

Hawk confirmed his candidacy in a news conference Wednesday.

The Greeneville lawmaker mentioned that he opposed Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's roads funding law that increased the gas tax while decreasing other taxes. Hawk proposed an alternative bill without the gas tax increase, but the Haslam measure won out.

Rep. Curtis Johnson of Clarksville also has announced he's running for speaker. House Majority Leader Glen Casada of Franklin also is likely to seek the job. Both voted for Haslam's roads law.

Harwell gave up her legislative seat for a failed Republican bid for governor.

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