Tuesday, January 09, 2007

January 9, 2007 Williams Hasn't Made Up His Mind

State Sen. Mike Williams (R-Maynardville) is talking about today's upcoming vote for Speaker of the Senate/Lt. Governor, but he's not saying much. The full story is here.

The vote for Speaker of the Senate/Lt. Governor is scheduled today.

85 year-old Senator John Wilder (D) is running against Senator Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville).

There are 17 Republicans and 16 Democrats in the Tennessee State Senate. That would normally mean that a Republican would be elected Speaker of the Senate/Lt. Governor.

However, Williams, a Republican, has refused to endorse Ramsey while Wilder has stated that he has Williams' vote.

Finally, Williams himself is talking. What he is saying, though, is that he hasn't made up his mind.

When Williams was asked about Wilder's claim to have Williams' vote, he said: "I appreciate other people speaking for me, but that's not the case.... I've said I'll do what's best for the state. Maybe somebody interpreted that as meaning I'll vote for him, but I have not committed."
To add to the uncertainty, there are questions about whether indicted Sen. Jerry Cooper can be counted on to vote for Wilder.

Rumors are circulating that Cooper will abstain from the vote. If Wilder doesn't have a Cooper vote, then Wilder needs at least two Republicans in order to get 17 votes today.

In 2005, Williams voted for Wilder. Wilder won and rewarded Williams with the Speaker pro tem position. If a Democrat (such as Jerry Cooper) abstains today, Williams may be a bit more hesitant to vote for Wilder, that is unless Williams knows that Wilder has at least one other Republican vote and will win.

Today, all state senators, Republican and Democrat, will speak for themselves---and that includes Mike Williams.

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