NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The first thing you might notice about Tennessee’s new Republican Majority Leader, William Lamberth, is his self-described “spikey hair,” but what you first hear is that he gets to the point quickly.
He has been a familiar face around Tennessee’s Capitol Hill for the last six years, but never in a leadership role until last week when he was elected by fellow Republican House members to succeed Rep. Glen Casada, who is poised to become speaker.
“Actually, grew up on a hog farm, we had 6500 head as hogs as a kid that’s where I learned the value of hard work,” Rep. Lamberth told News 2 during an interview in the House chambers on Wednesday.
While known for getting to the point, Rep. Lamberth said its always done with political issues being secondary.
“The focus is always going to be on good policy if you have good policy, the politics take care of themselves,” is something the new majority leader has frequently said.
The Sumner County representative is clear about the policy path he wants taken in the Republican-dominated house.
“We are going to fund the things that need to be funded, but we are going to continue looking at ways to reduce taxes as well and reduce the regulatory burden on Tennesseans,” said Lamberth. “Those are what conservatives do, run government as slim as you can.”
While Lamberth is brand new in his leadership at the capitol, so is incoming Governor Bill Lee.
As majority leader, one of Lamberth’s duties is helping pass a state budget that funds so much of education, healthcare, and safety issues touching every Tennessean.
“The governor proposes the budget and the legislature takes that budget over and decides what initiatives come into the final product,” said Lamberth.
The new majority leader added that specifics yet have not come up yet in discussions with Governor-elect Lee and his transition team.