He will replace current state Rep. Eric Watson who will become the new sheriff of Bradley County the same day.
The move to place Howell in office early came by a unanimous vote of the Bradley County Commission on Monday.
Under the state constitution, it is the governing body of the vacating legislator who has the responsibility to fill the seat when there are less than 12 months remaining prior to the next general election of legislators.
Howell won the Republican nomination for the position Aug. 7, and without any balloted Democratic opposition in the November general election became the presumptive representative-elect with that victory.
Commissioner Bill Winters in his motion to approve the resolution making the appointment said Howell’s place “as the victor makes it right he takes this seat early.”
The Commission passed the resolution without discussion.
Watson has already begun assisting Howell with the imminent transition.
The two recently traveled to Nashville, where they met with House Speaker Beth Harwell. They also got an early start on the workings of the office.
Because Howell is taking office early, it will improve his seniority in the state body and could help with the choice of committees on which he will be able to serve.
“Dan Howell is a fellow conservative who will do a great job of representing the people in Bradley, Polk and Meigs counties,” Watson said. “He will be an asset in Nashville and I look forward to working with Rep. Howell as Bradley County sheriff.”
Howell called Watson “a great legislator” and added he believed Watson would also be “a great sheriff.”
“He set a high standard and I look forward to continuing his tradition of good representation in District 22,” Howell said.