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Mon November 26, 2012
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Harwell Retains Tennessee House Speaker's Gavel

Rep. Beth Harwell
Rep. Beth Harwell
Credit State of Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Members of the House Republican caucus have nominated Speaker Beth Harwell for another term in charge of the chamber but ousted Rep. Judd Matheny from the No. 2 slot.

Matheny, of Tullahoma, was defeated Monday by Rep. Curtis Johnson of Clarksville in a secret ballot.

Matheny had publicly mulled challenging Harwell for the top post before deciding to focus on another term as speaker pro tempore.

Both positions are elected by the entire 99-member House, but with 70 Republican members, the official votes are expected to be little more than a formality.

Majority Leader Gerald McCormick of Chattanooga was unopposed for another term, and Rep. Glen Casada of Franklin was elected Republican caucus chairman.