Commentary by Bobbie Patray, Pray for our Leaders


I have represented Tennessee Eagle Forum, our members, and our supporters at the State Capitol for 32 years. During those years, there have been a number of questionable activities and scandals, especially Operation Rocky Top (the Bingo gambling scandal where the Secretary of State and another man committed suicide and others went to prison), Operation Tennessee Waltz (where several legislators and others were convicted for taking bribes), and a number of personal failings and bad choices made by individual legislators that came to light that I know about (there may have been others that I didn’t know about).

Let me make just some very GENERAL observations about this crazy, ridiculous, exciting, challenging, and important world I live in.

Power, influence, ambition, recognition, etc., are very real temptations – especially in the world of politics. Legislators (and others) are elected to SERVE – serve their constituents, serve their district, and serve their state. As time goes on, it is so easy to lose sight of that responsibility and all that goes with it.

It is an HONOR to be elected to any office and the person elected must be constantly on guard to make sure that the “position” does not become more important than the “service.” Lawmakers must never lose sight of why they were elected and what they were elected to do.

Hopefully and prayerfully, this current situation will be a reminder to all to make sure that everything is in order with their SERVICE.

These most recent incidents have been heartbreaking to me. I know I am crazy…but I love the Capitol, the process, and what can be accomplished there for the people of Tennessee. I want the people of Tennessee to have great respect for and confidence in our lawmakers and the legislative process.

On Monday, after the House Republican Caucus cast a 45-24 vote of no confidence in Speaker Casada, he initially indicated that he would “work the next few months to regain the confidence of my colleagues…” However, on Tuesday, he decided that he would resign his position and work with the leadership to provide a smooth transition. Whether or not he will be removed from the legislative body remains to be seen.


“As a result of several poor decisions, Speaker Casada had created an environment where his leadership could not be effective moving forward. Speaker Casada has agreed to resign and work with House leadership to ensure a smooth transition.”

Casada released a brief statement: “When I return to town on June 3, I will meet with Caucus leadership to determine the best date for me to resign as Speaker so that I can help facilitate a smooth transition.”

WWTN talk radio host Dan Mandis reported that he received a text message from Casada saying: “I am at peace with this. God has given this to me. I am ready to move on with another chapter in my life.”

On Tuesday, the governor tweeted, “Speaker Casada has made the right decision, and I look forward to working with the legislature to get back to conducting the people’s business and focusing on the issues that matter most to our state.”

Lt. Governor Randy McNally made this statement after Casada announced his intent to resign: “Speaker Casada announcing his intent to resign is the right decision for the legislature, the Republican Party and the state. I commend him for it. Now we move forward. I am committed to working with leadership in the House to help restore the trust that has been lost in any way I can.”

“There is no place in either the House Republican Caucus, in the House, or in the Legislature, or in anywhere in which any type of sexist, or racist, or inappropriate remarks are going to be permitted,” Majority Caucus chairman Rep. William Lamberth told reporters after the 45-24 vote done by secret ballot. “And I think that has been stated very clearly by this caucus today, is that regardless of how long ago, regardless of what the behavior is, we take these type of allegations very, very seriously.”

“The vote of no confidence by the Republican caucus sends a clear message; it is time for the Speaker to heed the advice of the majority of his fellow legislators and step down from his position of leadership and allow someone else to begin the process of restoring the trust of all Tennesseans,” party chairman Scott Golden said in a statement Monday.

Ooltewah’s House Representative heads petition to remove TN House Speaker Casada

A local lawmaker is calling for House Speaker Glen Casada to step down and that could come with a price. Money for a Special Session would come from the regular operating budget, costing taxpayers thousands of dollars. On Tuesday, Representative Mike Carter of Ooltewah announced he’s putting together a petition that would remove the House Speaker. That’s after text messages revealed Casada and his former Chief of Staff exchanged sexually explicit and racist messages. In a statement, Casada says he will return to the Capitol June 3rd and determine the best date to resign as speaker. However, Representative Carter says that process should begin sooner.

Read more.

Will you join me in praying these scriptures for our leaders?

1 Timothy 2:1-2 – I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

Proverbs 2:1-8 – My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2) turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding – 3) indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4) and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5) then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. 6) For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7) He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, 8) for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.

Bobbie Patray