Wilder Unseated By Ramsey For Senate Speaker

Nashville (AP) -- Tennessee Senate Republicans got help from a single Democrat this afternoon to unseat Senate Speaker John Wilder of Mason in favor of Ron Ramsey of Blountville.

The 18-to-15 vote ends the reign of Democrat Wilder, who was first elected to the post in 1971. The title of Lieutenant Governor goes with the job.

Democrat Rosalind Kurita of Clarksville voted with all 17 Republicans to elect Ramsey.

Two years ago, two Republicans voted with Democrats to thwart the same 17-to-16 Republican advantage in the upper chamber and retain Wilder as Speaker.

Researchers at the National Conference of State Legislatures said the 85-year-old Wilder was the longest-serving presiding officer of a legislative chamber in modern US history.

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