Summerville steps down from committee after black caucus comment

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- State Sen. Jim Summerville is resigning from the Senate Education Committee after being stripped of his subcommittee chairmanship over an email that insulted the Legislature's black caucus.

Summerville did not give a reason for his resignation in a handwritten letter to Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey on Friday.

Earlier Summerville told reporters in a brief interview that perhaps he should have said he didn't give a "rat's posterior" about the black caucus concerns, rather than the cruder word he used in his one-line email sent this week.

Asked why he so rudely dismissed the black caucus response to hearings about a grading dispute at Tennessee State University, Summerville said "the matter speaks for itself."

Democrats have demanded an apology but Summerville hasn't issued one.

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