Republican senators voted Wednesday to replace Sen. Mae Beavers as their caucus treasurer, voting instead for freshman Sen. Ferrell Haile, R-Gallatin.
Beavers, a Tea Party supporter, said she was relieved to give up the post.
"What a blessing," said Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet. "I ran last year because the caucus asked me to run. It's a relief as it's become more and more of a job. It's a burden lifted."
Vote totals in the Beavers/Haile contest were not made public, and there was some speculation Beavers' opposition earlier this year to a GOP redistricting plan may have worked against her in the party vote.
Regardless of what motivated the change, Beavers said she welcomes it and emphasized the change was not prompted by any mistakes she made in the job.
"During my tenure as treasurer the registry had no mistakes," she said. "It became a tremendous job."
Beavers also said there is no rivalry between her and Haile.
"If he had come to me and said he wanted to run, I would have told him the job was his," she said with a laugh. "I wish him well."
In other developments Wednesday, Republicans unanimously voted for Speaker Ron Ramsey of Blountville for the chamber’s top leadership post. Members also re-elected Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, of Collierville, for a fourth term, favored Sen. Bill Ketron, of Murfreesboro, for a second term as caucus chairman, and elected Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Bo Watson, of Hixson, as majority whip.