Ron Ramsey

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Ron Ramsey
49th Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee
Assumed office
January 20, 2007
Governor Phil Bredesen
Bill Haslam
Preceded by John Wilder
Member of the Tennessee Senate
from the 2nd district
Assumed office
January 1997
Preceded by Jim Holcomb
Member of the Tennessee House of Representatives
from the 1st district
In office
January 1993 – January 1997
Preceded by Jim Holcomb
Succeeded by ???
Personal details
Born Ronald Lynn Ramsey
(1955-11-20) November 20, 1955 (age 66)
Johnson City, Tennessee, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Sindy Parker (1980–present)
Children Madison
Alma mater East Tennessee State University
Religion United Methodism

Ronald Lynn "Ron" Ramsey (born November 20, 1955) is the 49th and current Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee and Speaker of the State Senate. A Republican from Blountville in East Tennessee, Ramsey succeeded long-term Democratic Lieutenant Governor John S. Wilder in 2007, who had held the office of Lieutenant Governor since 1971.

Tennesseans do not elect their lieutenant governor; rather, the Speaker of the Senate, who is first in the line of succession to the governor, is granted the title by statute.

Early years

Ramsey graduated from Sullivan Central High School in 1973, and later obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in 1978, majoring in Building Construction Technology at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City.[1][2] He is a member of the advisory board of the Farm Credit Association, a former president of the Blountville Business Association, and a former president and current member of the Bristol TN-VA Association of Realtors. He currently works as a real estate broker and an auctioneer.

State legislature

Ramsey represents Senate District 2, which encompasses Johnson and Sullivan counties in East Tennessee.

He was elected to the General Assembly as a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives in 1992, and served two terms. During his time as a state representative, Ramsey represented the 1st district, composed of Sullivan County. He was elected to the state Senate in 1996[3] and was reelected in 2000, 2004 and 2008.

In 2007, Ramsey garnered the support all of the GOP senators and one Democratic senator, Rosalind Kurita of Clarksville, in the vote for speakership of the Senate. He won with 18 votes to 15 for Wilder. He is the first Republican to serve as speaker of the Senate in 140 years.[4] Ramsey appointed Kurita as speaker pro tempore in return for her support. Ramsey was reelected as speaker of the Senate of the 106th General Assembly in 2009 by a vote of 19–14 making him the longest serving Republican Lt. Governor in Tennessee state history.

Ramsey sparked statewide controversy in 2005 for two actions. He was allegedly videotaped speeding in his Cadillac, traveling on I-40 East near Cookeville, TN at 92 mph (148 km/h). The videotape which showed Ramsey's speed superimposed on the screen was made by Keith Jones, a Republican who sells speed-detecting, radar equipment to law enforcement agencies and was made with police equipment.[5] Second, in February 2005 he introduced a bill (2005 SB0698)[6] to change county wheel tax legislation to give Tennessee county commissioners the sole authority to enact wheel taxes by majority vote, thus taking away the ability of voters to decide on local wheel tax in referendums.

During the 2004 election cycle, Ramsey was one of a few prominent Tennessee General Assembly leadership members who accepted campaign contributions from both the Jack Daniel's PAC and the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of Tennessee PAC.[7][8]

In 2008, Ramsey endorsed Fred Thompson for President of the United States.[9]

2010 candidacy for governor

On February 28, 2009, Ramsey announced that he would run for the Republican nomination for governor of Tennessee.[10]

In July 2010, 20 Tea Party organizations, about half of the roughly 40 Tea Party groups in Tennessee, endorsed Ramsey for governor because of his stances on state sovereignty, health care, immigration and fiscal issues.[11]

On July 14, 2010, Ramsey said that states would have to deal with attempts to bring Sharia law to the U.S.: "But you cross the line when they start trying to bring Sharia law into the United States. Now, you could even argue whether being a Muslim is actually a religion, or is it a nationality, way of life, cult, whatever you want to call it. Now certainly we do protect our religions, but at the same time this is something we are going to have to face."[12]

On August 5, 2010, Ramsey finished third, receiving 22% votes of the total for the GOP Nomination in the state of Tennessee.


  1. "Meet Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey"
  2. "State gubernatorial candidate talks campaign issues in speech"
  3. Lieutenant Governor Ramsey to keynote graduation, East Tennessean (East Tennessee State University), December 6, 2007
  4. "Lieutenant governor's contest may be a mystery worth decoding". Larry Daughtrey. The Tennessean. May 28, 2006.
  5. State senator questions tape showing him speeding on interstate, WATE-TV, August 7, 2005
  6. Senate Bill 698, 3 February 2005.
  7. "Entity Details -".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Drink at Naifeh fete courtesy of Jack Daniel's: Lawmakers, lobbyists mingle at Coon Supper". Tennessean. Trent Seibert. April 27, 2006.
  9. "Ron Ramsey Says Nation Needs Fred Thompson". The Chattanoogan. August 20, 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10.[dead link]
  11. Sisk, Chas (July 7, 2010). "20 tea party groups in Tennessee endorse Ron Ramsey for governor". The Tennessean. Retrieved July 8, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
  12. Michael Cass, The Tennessean (July 28, 2010). "Tennessee politician's remarks on Islam raise uproar". USA TODAY. The Associated Press.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


External links

Political offices
Preceded by
John Wilder
Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee