NASHVILLE - Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, was re-elected by state senators as the Senate's speaker and lieutenant governor during an organizational session Tuesday.
Ramsey won over state Sen. Jim Kyle, D-Memphis, by a 29-4 vote.
“I especially look forward to continuing this legislature’s commitment to efficiency. Our last two legislative sessions were the first to end ‘on time’ in well over a decade. We plan to continue that tradition,” Ramsey told senators after the vote. “The days of legislative sessions dragging into May and beyond are over.
“As our federal government teeters on the edge of a fiscal cliff, Tennessee’s feet stand planted firmly on sound fiscal principles,” he added. “Tennessee is an oasis of fiscal sanity in a nation overwhelmed with debt. As long as I am speaker, I will fight to ensure Tennessee remains a beacon to the nation.”
Six years ago, Ramsey became the first GOP Senate speaker in 140 years. Senate Republicans now outnumber Democrats by 26 to 7 in the state Senate as a result of last November's elections.
Tom Reed, pastor at Ramsey's Elizabeth Chapel United Methodist Church in Bluff City, delivered the organizational session's opening prayer. All 33 senators then took the oath of office, and a temporary set of rules was adopted.
Ramsey will now turn to the task of appointing senators to committees as the legislative session moves forward. The lieutenant governor stands in immediate succession to the governor's office if necessary.
“I have often said it matters who governs,” he continued.