Political news

TN Photo Services

Many Tennessee voters — Republicans and Democrats alike —  will spend the coming days trying to understand what it will mean for Donald Trump to be president. But for many at the state capitol, attention is turning to Election Day, 2018.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Muslims from across Tennessee were at the Capitol Friday in an effort to spark more dialogue with state lawmakers.

The event included tours of the Capitol and a Muslim prayer service, all with the message that it's time for Muslims to get more involved — not just in national politics, but with lawmakers who shape Tennessee's future.

Erin Logan / WPLN

Oak Ridge Republican Randy McNally is a man of few words.

That may be why few Tennesseans have heard about him before this week, when he was elected speaker of the state Senate.

McNally has nearly 40 years of experience, yet an earlier episode in his life still defines his career. People refer to it as the time Randy McNally wore a wire. Operation Rocky Top became one of the biggest corruption scandals in the legislature's history.

Michael Vadon / Wikimedia Commons

The NPR Politics team and reporters across the newsroom live-annotated the news conference with President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday. The full transcript is below:

The NPR Politics team and reporters across the newsroom live-annotated President Obama's farewell address in Chicago on Tuesday night. See the transcript below:


Chas Sisk / WPLN

Nashville Republican Beth Harwell won a fourth term as speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives, and Oak Ridge Sen. Randy McNally was elected speaker of the state Senate in a start to the 110th General Assembly that went as expected.

Harwell unanimously won re-election, as Republicans and Democrats aligned behind her. That's even though her previous term had been rocky. Harwell had opposed Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to expand Medicaid, known as Insure Tennessee, and she'd been criticized for her handling of sexual harassment complaints against Franklin Republican Jeremy Durham. Durham was eventually ousted in September.

Harwell was asked immediately afterward about her next race — including the possibility that she'll run for governor in 2018. She says she's not ready to make that decision.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


Today, the first of President-elect Trump's Cabinet choices goes before a Senate committee, and it's one of the most important jobs - attorney general of the United States.


Stephen Jerkins / WPLN (File photo)

The question is not whether a legislator in Tennessee identifies as a Christian. It's what kind of Christian they are.

Nearly one-third of lawmakers identify their religious affiliation as Baptist, and the rest say they're from another Protestant denomination or they're Catholic. Only one mentions another faith: Nashville Rep. John Ray Clemmons, who says in his official bio that his family is a mix of Christian and Jewish.

That's not completely out of line with Tennesseans as a whole. Four of five of the state's adults say they're Christians.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN (File photo)

 After an eventful election season, the Tennessee state legislature is back.


The General Assembly opens its two-year session this week.


There aren’t a lot of new people in the hallways, but our statehouse correspondent, Chas Sisk, is here to tell us why this will be one of most unpredictable sessions in years.

Maryland Office of the Governor

They're the basics of American history and government.

So we went out to the State Capitol to see if Tennesseans actually know them.

Name the U.S. war between the North and the South.

Ethan Millsap was ready.