MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A larger than usual number of new faces will be arriving in the Tennessee State Senate, according to Lt. Gov. Randy McNally.
The longtime Republican legislator from Oak Ridge who is the Speaker of the Senate told the Memphis Rotary Club, "the Trump Administration as well as others have started picking off some of the top senators we have and offering them far better jobs."
Topping the list of soon to be departing lawmakers is Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, the former Shelby County Commissioner who now represents part of Shelby County and all of Tipton County in Nashville. Norris has been nominated for a federal judgeship.
Of the longtime Republican legislator, McNally said, "(Norris is) somebody that I and the governor really depend on for the legislative package."
The Senate Minority Leader will also say farewell to Nashville. Senator Lee Harris, a former city councilman, Yale Law graduate, and law professor at the University of Memphis Law School, has thrown his hat into the ring as a candidate for Shelby County Mayor.
On the other end of the state, the Trump administration named Senator Doug Overbey, who represented Blount and Sevier counties, as the new U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee.
Overbey held leadership roles on the Senate's finance and judiciary committees.
"When you're faced with a $150,000 federal job compared to a $22,600 state job I mean it's not hard to make that choice," McNally said of the departing senators.
Senator Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro is running for mayor of fast growing Rutherford County in middle Tennessee.
"Jim Tracy, who's Speaker Pro Tem is being considered for a job with the Department of Agriculture, a statewide job," McNally said.
Veteran Senator Mae Beavers has already left the state senate to run for Tennessee Governor.
"There's a possibility we could lose Sen. Thelma Harper, who's one of the longer serving members and a ranking minority member of the finance committee," McNally said.
McNally told Rotarians, "there's a lot of changes going on in the senate and that would probably be job one for me in electing good replacements for those people and moving those people to fill those critical leadership spots."