Sen. Yager eyed for appointment to TVA board

State Sen. Ken Yager is being considered for appointment to the TVA Board of Directors. The Kingston Republican says he finds the prospect “flattering” and would be inclined to accept to enhance the viewpoint of electricity ratepayers if President Donald Trump ultimately nominates him for the position.

The TVA board currently has four vacancies to be filled by presidential appointment, subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate. Traditionally, the president relies on recommendations from senators of his own party in making the appointments – currently U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, described by the president as “two great friends of mine” in a recent Nashville speech.

Former Knoxville Mayor Victor Ashe initially reported that Yager is under consideration, but said in a Shopper News column that the senator would have to give up his seat in the General Assembly to serve. Yager, asked about the report, said he had been advised that he would not have to give up his seat.

Ashe said in an interview later that “another legislator,” who he declined to name, had told him a resignation from the legislature would be required to accept the TVA post, but that might be mistaken. There is a ban on individuals holding elective office in both state and federal governments, but it seems that may not include appointment to the TVA board, now a part-time position bestowed by presidential appointment and not through election. A current member of the board, Richard Howorth, was mayor of Oxford, Miss., when appointed.

Ashe said his sources say others under consideration for appointment to the TVA board include former Virginia state Sen. Bill Wampler, son of a former congressman and nephew to the late U.S. Sen. Howard Baker of Tennessee, and Jeff Hagood, a Knoxville attorney.

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Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.
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