Speaker Harwell shuffles House committee assignments

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Two chairmen and an internal challenger have been moved out of leadership positions by Republican state House Speaker Beth Harwell.

Rep. Matthew Hill of Jonesborough was removed as chairman of the Local Government Committee and fellow Republican Rep. Judd Matheny of Tullahoma was replaced as chairman of the Government Operations Committee.

And Republican Rep. Rick Womick of Murfreesboro, who unsuccessfully challenged Harwell for the Republican nomination for speaker this session, is no longer vice chairman of the Civil Justice Committee.

Hill famously cast the deciding vote against Harwell’s signature measure to allow wine sales in grocery stores in 2013. The measure passed the following year and was approved in referendums in 78 communities in November.

Matheny in 2012 mulled a challenge to Harwell for speaker before abandoning the bid.