Saturday, January 8, 2005



Posted By on Sat, Jan 8, 2005 at 4:00 AM

Despite a statement last week from state Senator Curtis Person that Lt. Governor John Wilder is committed to appointing a majority Republican committee structure if reelected as the senate’s presiding officer, Person’s Shelby County colleague Mark Norris remains doubtful.

“I don’t think he’ll do it,” Norris told an audience at the monthly Dutch Treat Luncheon at Piccadilly’s Cafeteria Saturday. Norris said afterward that even if nominal Democrat Wilder responded as Person suggested to the GOP’s new one-vote majority in the 33-member body, he might do so by creating new and relatively unimportant committees. “Anyhow, he’ll leave Democrats in control of the big committees like Finance and Commerce,” Norrris insisted.

Person, who has withstood intense lobbying from fellow Republicans in recent weeks, is one of what seems to be a growing bloc of GOP senators pledged to support Wilder’s claim to the speakership against that of GOP caucus chair Ron Ramsey of Blountville. He confided what he said was Wilder’s firm pledge on the committee issue during a break at last week’s pre-session meeting of Shelby legislators with other Shelby County public officials.

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