Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada is refusing to resign despite engaging in sexually charged text messages about women with his then-chief of staff.
The aide, Cade Cothren, resigned on Monday following revelations of those messages, as well as other offensive texts and questionable behavior.
Casada has since faced calls to follow Cothren out the door — but the veteran Republican lawmaker told Nashville talk radio station WTN-FM on Tuesday that he has no intention of leaving his position as speaker.
Casada said he was “sorry” and “embarrassed” about the text messages but characterized them as mere “locker room talk” between two adult men.
“I got caught up in the moment,” he said.
On Monday, USA Today’s Tennessean published copies of the lewd text messages, all sent in 2016, between Casada and Cothren.
In one exchange, Cothren sent a photo to his boss of an “upside down woman standing next to a pole.”
According to The Tennessean:
Cothren referred to the woman as “wife material” before Casada asked, “Can I just touch????”
Cothren replied, “Lol maybe just once.”
In another exchange, Cothren told Casada that “I did fuck” a woman in the restroom at a local restaurant. “Will send pictures later,” Cothren said.
Casada responded: “Only gone for 60 seconds,” adding, “R u a minute man???;)”
Cothren said, “Yes, I take after you. Like father like son.”
Casada replied, “Lolol! If I’m happy, then all is good!!!!!”
According to The Tennessean, Cothren, a longtime aide of Casada’s who earned $200,000 a year as his chief of staff, also sent sexually explicit text messages to an intern and a lobbyist. Cothren was also accused of penning racist text messages and admitted this week to snorting cocaine while on the job.
When Cothren announced his resignation, Tennessee Democrats called for Casada to also step down, saying the speaker’s “inept leadership” enabled and promoted his aide’s behavior.
Casada is no stranger to controversial comments about women.
The speaker came under fire in February for defending a fellow Republican state lawmaker who was accused of sexually assaulting teenage girls. At the time, Casada questioned why victims of rape don’t just relocate.