According to the Tennessee Republican Party, the new Speaker of the House of Representatives is still a Republican.
The party's leaders are still looking at "multiple formal challenges" made by members of the party as to Kent Williams' status as a "bona fide Republican." Regardless, it doesn't look like they will be inviting him to their Lincoln Day dinner anytime soon.
In a statement released late today by GOP spokesman Bill Hobbs, "Tennessee Republican Party State Executive Committee members met today via telephone conference call to discuss the multiple formal challenges filed to the status of Kent Williams, the newly-installed House Speaker, as a "bona fide Republican" under party bylaws."
Hobbs went on to state the following:
"More than two dozen challenges have been filed contesting Williams is not a bona fide Republican, prompted by his breaking both party bylaws and his solemn oath to vote for the Republican Caucus nominee for Speaker of the House. Under Party bylaws, the party chairman has the authority to consider such challenges and make a determination.
During the conference call, the Executive Committee members heard a review of the facts and chronology surrounding Williams' betrayal of the new Republican majority in the state House in conspiring with Democrats to make Williams as Speaker and to elect a Democrat as Speaker Pro Tempore.
On Tuesday, Williams lied his way into the Speaker's chair, aided by Democrats eager to retain control of the House even though Republicans won a majority of seats in the House in the 2008 election. The ascent of Williams, a second-term legislator, to the Speaker's chair was engineered by Democrat former House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh and Democrat House Minority Leader Gary Odom, leaving them in a position of considerable control over the House.
The 66-member Tennessee Republican Party State Executive Committee is reviewing the information."
While there is no timeline as to when the committee will make its decision, it will be of no surprise when Williams is formally excommunicated from the party.