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VOL. 124 | NO. 30 | Friday, February 13, 2009

Ex-Lawmaker: Make Williams Ouster Vote Public

AP

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A former state lawmaker who is a supporter of House Speaker Kent Williams says the state Republican Party should make public the votes in the GOP executive committee's decision to strip Williams of his party affiliation.

Ralph Cole once held the same Carter County seat now represented by Williams. Cole says elected executive committee members should be accountable for their votes.

State Republican Party Chairwoman Robin Smith says 81 percent of the executive committee voted to oust Williams, but she won't say how many members were present or how many cast ballots.

Smith tells The Knoxville News Sentinel that the votes were kept secret to keep committee members from being pitted against each other.

Williams infuriated many Republicans last month when he banded together with all of the chamber's Democrats to be elected House speaker.

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Information from: The Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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