Naifeh to retire after 38 years in House

By Lucas L. Johnson Ii

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, March 8 2012 4:00 p.m. MST

"I didn't know that Tipton County was going to be an entire district within itself," Naifeh said. "It would be a hard race, but I could win it."

State Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney said in a statement that he wishes Naifeh the best, but didn't hesitate in announcing the intentions of the GOP.

"A chapter is ending in Tennessee political history with the announced retirement of former House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh," Devaney said. "As we look ahead, we will be working hard to elect a strong Republican to lead District 81 moving forward."

Until then, Naifeh said he plans to continue his service to his constituents, as well as hopefully carry on with the tradition of his famous Coon Supper that began in 1945 by Oney Naifeh, the lawmaker's late father.

"I'm going to ... take care of my constituents until the next member is elected," he said.

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