Tennessee Senate speaker looks to stem setbacks

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- State Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey's quest to hold on to his post has taken some hits over the past couple of weeks.

Ramsey, who besides leading the Senate also holds the title of lieutenant governor, is Tennessee's top Republican state officeholder and is eyeing a gubernatorial bid in 2010.

But Ramsey's efforts to solidify his speaker position by ousting an independent senator took a blow last week following news reports of allegations that the Republican candidate he's backing had an affair with a married woman.

Then, on Saturday, the only Democrat who crossed over to help the Blountville Republican win the Senate speakership in 2007 had her narrow primary victory declared invalid by Democratic officials who appeared to agree with arguments that Ramsey had a direct hand in her win.

Ramsey didn't immediately return calls seeking comment.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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