NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Tennessee Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally walked past reporters and passed on questions after a member of his own party submitted a letter calling for his resignation.
"It’s time for him to resign. He’s had a week, I was hoping he would step down on his own and he has chosen not to do so," Rep. Todd Warner, a Republican from Lewisburg, told reporters at the Capitol Thursday.
The letter he submitted was even more inflammatory, calling Lt. Gov. McNally a predator, it claims he began sexually grooming his victim and calls on McNally to step down immediately.
"Your release mentioned him being a groomer, do you have any evidence of that?" asked NewsChannel 5. "Watch the videos, look back at the posts," replied Rep. Warner.
The Lieutenant Governor has apologized for repeatedly commenting on a young gay man's often racy Instagram posts, while his colleagues supported legislation that impacts the LGBTQ community. McNally missed the vote banning drag shows in public places due to a medical emergency.
McNally's office offered up a statement later in the day Thursday, ""I serve at the pleasure of the members of the Senate and my caucus. As long as I have their confidence, I am committed to the important work of this state. We have several pieces of crucial legislation, as well as a budget, to pass. I remain committed to that critical work."
For the first time, Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton spoke out in support of his longtime friend.
"I think we’re moving past it at this point," said the Republican from Crossville. "I’ve known him for 35 years, he’s a very kind and considerate man who does offer encouragement to a lot of people, and people may disagree with his comments but they are not inappropriate, and he was doing it in a way to be kind to all people — and that’s who he is. He’s apologized for it and to those people he offended."
Democrats had more to say about Rep. Warner, who drafted the letter.
"Something along the lines of throwing rocks at glass houses kind of thing," said Rep. John Ray Clemmons, a Democrat from Nashville and Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. When asked to elaborate further, Clemmons declined.
If his name sounds familiar, it's because Rep. Warner was one of several lawmakers who had their homes raided by the FBI in 2021, during the federal investigation into former Tennessee Speaker of the House Glen Cassada. So far, Warner hasn't been indicted.
When Warner was asked if the FBI has been in contact with him recently, he replied, "No, no they haven’t," he replied.