Tennessee governor asks state lawmaker accused of sexual assault not to run for reelection: report


Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) has asked a Republican state legislator not to run for re-election amid allegations of sexual assault, according to WTVF.

Lee spoke to Rep. David Byrd by phone about a month ago to ask him to retire amid allegations of sexually assaulting teenagers, according to the station, citing a senior administration official.

The allegations concern three girls Byrd is accused of molesting when he coached high school basketball three decades ago.

Numerous Volunteer State Republicans have called on Byrd to to resign or be expelled from the legislature over the allegations.

Earlier this month, former U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp (R) called on Byrd to resign. “Before too many more people get mired in Byrd’s mess, he needs to go on a long vacation with Casada to another state and let the honorable ones run our great state,” Wamp tweeted, referencing former State House Speaker Glen Casada (R), who resigned from his leadership position over racist and sexist text messages.

“I think it comes a time, whether it’s Casada or Byrd, that they ought to have the good sense to know that the brand is hurt, the conservative movement is set back and the legislature can’t move forward as long as they continue to be dogged by a person and their missteps in the past,” Wamp told the Tennesseean. “There’s plenty of people that can serve besides this person.”

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally also called on Byrd to step down earlier this year. Then-Speaker Casada removed him from his chairmanship of the House Education Administration Subcommittee in March, according to Nashville Public Radio.

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