Bell eyes Senate Majority Leader position

Sen. Jack Johnson possible opponent

By BRIAN GRAVES

Posted 1/8/18

One of Bradley County’s representatives in the Tennessee State Legislature could be headed for a significant promotion in Nashville.State Sen. Mike Bell (R-Riceville) confirmed Sunday to the …

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Bell eyes Senate Majority Leader position

Sen. Jack Johnson possible opponent

Posted

One of Bradley County’s representatives in the Tennessee State Legislature could be headed for a significant promotion in Nashville.



State Sen. Mike Bell (R-Riceville) confirmed Sunday to the Cleveland Daily Banner he is actively seeking the position of state Senate Majority Leader.



 According to a report Sunday by the USA Today Tennessee Network, Bell is one of two favorites to replace current Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville).



 Norris was nominated last year by President Donald Trump for a federal judgeship in West Tennessee.



However, the calendar in Washington, D.C. for confirmation is not clear and Norris has said he will remain in Nashville until he receives the confirmation from the U.S. Senate.



 Once Norris is confirmed, which is highly likely with a Republican-controlled Senate, Bell would likely face state Sen. Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) for the leadership post.



 “Johnson has seniority, but Bell could pose a serious challenge if both seek the position,” Sunday’s news story reported.



 Bell told the Banner on Sunday he has been campaigning for the post among his Republican colleagues “for a couple of months now ever since Sen. Norris was nominated.”



“I wouldn’t characterize myself as the favorite, but I am working hard,” Bell said.



 He calls Johnson, the only other candidate for the position, “a great senator and a great Republican.”



“Our competition is a friendly one,” the senator said.



Bell acknowledged the time of choosing for the new leader could be “next week or next summer” depending on when Norris completes the federal judgeship confirmation process.



“The old saying is, ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained,’” Bell said. “I got into the race to win, but if I don’t I will remain committee chairman, a member of two other committees, and have the privilege of representing the best district in the state.”



The Tennessee General Assembly returns to session in Nashville on Tuesday beginning at 1 p.m. EST.




Inset Quote:


“The old saying is, ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained.' I got into the race to win, but if I don’t I will remain committee chairman, a member of two other committees, and have the privilege of representing the best district in the state.” — State Sen. Mike Bell




 


 

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