Matheny Eyes Higher Leadership Role

State Rep. Judd Matheny

State Rep. Judd Matheny is mulling a challenge to House Speaker Beth Harwell for the top chamber’s top leadership position, the Tullahoma Republican confirmed in an interview with The Associated Press.
Matheny holds the title of House speaker pro tempore, the only post besides speaker elected by the entire lower chamber of the General Assembly.
The position wields little independent power, and Matheny complained in the interview of being marginalized by other Republican leaders, who he said worked to dilute his key legislative initiatives ranging from loosening gun laws to battling what he perceives as the spread of Islamic law in the United States.
Matheny, 42, said he holds no personal grudge against Harwell, whom he supported in a hard-fought speaker’s race in 2010. But Matheny said he wants the Legislature to exert more power within state government and to pursue what he called “our true constitutional principles.”
Matheny said he had been considering running for speaker even before the results of the Aug. 2 primary.
Matheny said he’s discussing his potential candidacy with current Republican members and candidates. He said he hasn’t made up his mind about whether a decision would come before or after the November election.-WSMV-