Veteran Rep. Steve McDaniel won’t seek reelection

New release from Rep. Steve McDaniel

PARKER’S CROSSROADS, Tenn. – House Deputy Speaker Steve McDaniel (R-Parker’s Crossroads) announced today that he will not be a candidate for reelection in 2018. McDaniel made the announcement during his annual community meetings tour in Henderson, Chester and Perry Counties.

“It I with mixed emotions that I announce I will not seek reelection to the House of Representatives,” said Rep. McDaniel. “My service to the people of District 72 has been one of the greatest honors of my life. I am incredibly thankful for the continued support, friendship and kindness of my constituents who have entrusted me to represent them for the past 29 years.”

“I love what I’ve been doing, especially helping my communities with the support they need to thrive and assisting individuals to access vital state services,” said McDaniel. “I will miss that greatly. I will also miss the people I work with, but look forward to having more time to spend with my family.”  McDaniel and his wife, Phyllis, are looking forward to welcoming their first grandchild, who is expected to arrive in October.

McDaniel has served in several top leadership positions, including Republican Leader from 1996 to 2002 and House Republican Caucus Chairman from 1992 to 1996. In addition, he served as National Chair of the American Legislative Exchange Council in 2001. He was appointed Deputy Speaker by House Speaker Beth Harwell in 2009. He currently serves in key leadership roles as Chairman of the House Ethics Committee, Chairman of the House Rules Committee and as a long-standing member of the powerful House Finance, Ways and Means Committee.

Rep. McDaniel has been a strong advocate for rural Tennesseans. He sponsored several key laws during his tenure, including the Consumer Health Care Advocacy Act and the Competitive Cable Act. The Consumer Health Care Advocacy Act provided consumers with more options in their managed care plans. The Act was particularly important to consumers in rural areas by specifying that primary care physicians and specialists be within specific reasonable travel time.

The Competitive Cable Act charted a positive course for the future of cable, video and broadband communications services in Tennessee. The expansion of high speed broadband to unserved and underserved communities was one of the key provisions in the legislation to foster access to rural areas of the state.

He also sponsored the Heritage Protection Act which defines a historic entity, event, figure or organization and provides legal process for a petition for waiver to be brought by a local government to the Tennessee Historic Commission. That act requires notice be given to the public for comment, with the right to appeal the commission’s decision to Chancery Court.

During his tenure in the House of Representatives, McDaniel has also represented Wayne, Madison and Hardeman Counties.

Statement from House Speaker Beth Harwell:

“It’s been a great honor both knowing and working alongside Deputy Speaker McDaniel for so many years. Steve’s wisdom and institutional knowledge have been a tremendous asset to the General Assembly, and I am truly grateful for his many years of service as a representative and as my Deputy Speaker. I wish him all the best in his retirement and look forward to a productive final session with him next year.”

Statement from Lt. Gov. Randy McNally:

“I have served many years with Steve McDaniel and every one of them has been pleasure. Few men love our state and its history and culture as much as Steve.  His work preserving and protecting our history and heritage will be appreciated for generations to come. I can’t imagine the General Assembly without him. While he may not come to Nashville as much in the future, I will still count on him for his wise counsel and strong friendship. I wish him a successful and restful retirement.”

Statement from House Republican Chairman Ryan Williams:

“Deputy Speaker McDaniel informed me of his decision not to seek re-election after the upcoming legislative session Wednesday evening,” said Chairman Williams. “As Caucus Chairman, I believe there has been no greater advocate for our state’s history and no one with a better understanding of House rules than Deputy Speaker McDaniel. Having the ability to rely on his knowledge and experience in these areas and others has been a tremendous resource for our caucus. I am grateful to him for his service to his constituents and to our state, and I know he will be greatly missed by his colleagues in the House chamber.”  

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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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