Experts talk concentration of political power in Williamson County

Posted at 5:46 PM, Dec 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-11 20:05:39-05

A number of high level state political positions were won by Williamson County Republicans in November and December.

The county now counts the future governor, senator, speaker of the state house and state senate majority leader among its ranks.

Governor-elect Bill Lee will take office in January, being sworn in once representative Glenn Casada takes his oath as the speaker of the state house, replacing Beth Harwell. Marsha Blackburn won Bob Corker's seat and represents the district from the county as well. Senator Jack Johnson won the Republican Caucus election for majority leader in the state senate.

"They all had contested elections. They all won. So, it speaks to a little bit of the quality of all of those individuals as candidates," said Scott Golden, chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party. "It also has to do with the growth in Middle Tennessee. With growth comes more representation. We're already beginning to look at when they start counting the census in 2020 and that information will be tabulated in 2021."

Williamson County is known as a Republican county. Golden said the influx of people moving to the Middle Tennessee area has had an impact, but there's also some luck involved here.

"You couldn't have planned it. The number of pieces that had to come together to get what's going to be a great governor, a great senator, a great speaker and a great majority leader," he said.

NewsChannel5's political analyst, Pat Nolan had a similar take. He believes it's likely many of those powerful politicians live in Williamson County because it's a known affluent area.

Nolan said speaker-to-be Casada had an interesting take on the situation.

"He thought it was sort of cyclical and pointed out times in the 70s and 80s when the democrats were in control of state government," said Nolan. "They had quite a concentration in a lot of those same positions. That's true, except that was a whole grand division of the state instead of one particular county."