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Tennessee organization launches billboard calling for legislator to be removed by GOP

PHOTO courtesy Enough is Enough Tennessee
PHOTO courtesy Enough is Enough Tennessee
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NASHVILLE, Tenn.--Just a day after Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada announced he plans to step down from the Speaker position, an organization is calling for Rep. David Byrd to be removed.

Engulfed in allegations of lewd and racist remarks, Casada announced on Tuesday he plans to step down from his post but will remain a state representative. Now, a grass roots organization for women's and children's rights is calling for Byrd to step down.

Enough is Enough Tennessee has posted a billboard on I-65 North in Nashville calling for Byrd to be held accountable for allegations of sexual misconduct.

Rep. Byrd has battled allegations he had inappropriate contact with three of his former high school basketball players in Wayne County. Byrd has denied the allegations, previously issuing a statement which in part questioned the students' motives.

In March, Byrd agreed to step down as Chair of the House Education Administration Subcommittee following a conversation with Casada. In a statement from Casada's office at the time, Casada stated the it was the "best path forward."

Enough is Enough Tennessee posted the billboard on Wednesday, calling for the Tennessee GOP to "finish the job." Enough is Enough Tennessee leader Emily Tseffos issued a statement saying the organization is "glad" Casada has been forced out but there is more for the state legislature to do.

"We’re glad Casada is being forced out. But three women say Byrd sexually molested them. He can’t stay in office. The GOP needs to finish the job and remove him. What kind of state legislature allows a man to serve who has apologized on tape for molesting children? This is outrageous,” Tseffos states.

Byrd has maintained his innocence throughout, issuing a statement in 2018 calling the allegations three decades old.

“First, let me say that I have done nothing wrong or inappropriate during my term as state representative for the 71st District, which I proudly serve. I am disappointed that Speaker Harwell so quickly publicly turned her back on me but understand her political posture.

Second, these recent allegations of inappropriate contact, never before made, date back over three decades ago and are disheartening to me, and my family. One must question the motives of these three former students out of the hundreds of students I have coached.

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Conduct over 30 years ago is difficult, at best, to recall, but as a Christian, I have said and I will repeat that if I hurt or emotionally upset any of my students I am truly sorry and apologize." -Rep. Byrd

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