Stanley resignation could shift balance of power - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Stanley resignation could shift balance of power

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - From Memphis to Nashville, a political storm is brewing in the wake of Republican Senator Paul Stanley's fall from grace folowing a sex scandal with a legislative intern.

Monday marks Stanley's last day on the job. And his senate vacancy could crumble Republican rule in the House and reverse an historical shift at the state capitol.
 
Republicans recently won the majority in the General Assembly for the first time since Reconstruction.
    
But the Stanley scandal has the potential to shift power back to House Democrats.
   
"Obviously, there's a lot of attention being paid on this in Nashville," said Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy.

There will be a special election to replace Senator Stanley.
    
But if State Representative Brian Kelsey or State Representative Steve McManus wins Stanley's Senate seat, that will leaves a seat open in the House.
    
Right now, Republicans are the majority, 50 to 49.
    
But Republicans are concerned the Democratic-heavy Shelby County Commission will appoint a Democrat to replace one of the representatives - shifting the seat of power to Democrats.

"Tremendous pressure would be on my Democratic colleagues not to appoint a Democrat to that House seat," said Republican Shelby Co. Commissioner Mike Carpenter.

He says also says a majority Republican district deserves a Republican leader.

"In the State House, there's a one-vote majority by Republicans," he said. "But on the County Commission, as everyone knows, there's an eight to five Democrat majority."

Carpenter says the shift of power could cause Republicans to lose their stronghold on core votes.

"On the larger ideological issues: abortion, guns," he said.
       
Mulroy recalls backlash after appointing Democrat Matt Kuhn to replace Republican Commissioner David Lillard last year.
    
He says the notion Shelby County could face backlash from Republicans is bad politics.

"They represent constituents, both Democrat and Republican," Muroy said. "In Shelby County, that needs funding from the state for crucial programs, and for them to hijack that because of some petty give-and-take over what the Shelby County Commission's doing...I think, is completely irresponsible."

But he says it's too early to say which way the votes will go. 
    
There are many moving parts to this situation, but all eyes are fixed on the Senate race.

 


  

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