TN GOP House speaker nominee to focus on jobs - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

TN GOP House speaker nominee to focus on jobs

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Republican nominee for Tennessee House speaker says job creation tops her agenda and that she has full support from incoming freshmen with strong conservative views.

Beth Harwell of Nashville met with reporters on Monday and fielded questions about her expectations for the position.

The 53-year-old would become Tennessee's first female speaker if elected by full membership of the lower chamber in January, which appears all but certain given the GOP's 64-34 advantage and state party bylaws that allow for the expulsion of Republican members who don't support the nominee.

Harwell acknowledges that the state's 22 new Republican House members have "a conservative agenda in mind." But she says she's met with them and they all agree that "the priority for this state is ... improve the economy."

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