Friday, January 01, 2010

We begin 2010 with the loss of a giant

Sadly, WMC and the Nashville Post are both reporting this morning that former Lt. Governor John S. Wilder passed away shortly after midnight at Baptist-East at the age of 88.

Wilder served as Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the Senate for 36 years, longer than any person has ever served as the presiding officer of ANY legislature in this country. He was a kind, gentle and courtly man, but one who was never afraid to use the massive power that he accumulated over those years. He used to say, "The Senate is the Senate", and, as goofy as it may have sounded, everyone knew what he meant.

He was stunned in 2007 when former Senator Rosalind Kurita, who had VOTED FOR HIM in the Caucus election, then turned around and voted for Republican Ron Ramsey of Blountville for Speaker, a position Ramsey has held ever since. This aided Ramsey in building a 19-14 GOP edge in the Senate. It also would cost Kurita her Senate seat.

John S. Wilder was a giant in Tennessee politics, and he will be deeply missed, especially by the people of his district.

See Also:

Commercial Appeal

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