Controversial state senator resigns from Republican Caucus

Aug 11, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Sen. Jim Summerville has resigned from the Republican Caucus following a loss in last week's election primary.

In an August 9 letter to Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron, Summerville said he will be serving as an independent member of the Senate for the remainder of his term and asked that his resignation be effective immediately.

With all precincts reporting in District 25, former Sen. Kerry Roberts of Springfield had 9,832 votes, or 42 percent, compared with Summerville's 3,700 votes, or 16 percent.

Summerville is known for his controversial legislation, as well as comments concerning his own GOP colleagues.

Last year, he proposed a measure to eliminate affirmative action initiatives from higher education institutions in Tennessee. After the legislation failed, Summerville threatened GOP lawmakers who voted against it, saying they would face repercussions in this year's election.