Lawmaker who accused Haslam of 'treason' to GOP to retire

Friday, January 22, 2016, Vol. 40, No. 4

MURFREESBORO (AP) — Republican state Rep. Rick Womick, who once accused Gov. Bill Haslam of "treason" to the GOP, is announcing plans to retire this year.

The Daily News Journal of Murfreesboro reports ( that Womick said he wants to spend more time with his family.

Womick in 2014 mounted a challenge for the Republican nomination for House speaker, but lost that election on a 57-15 vote to incumbent Beth Harwell.

Earlier that year, Womick had labeled Haslam a "traitor to the party" after the governor's allies formed a political action committee to support opponents of his harshest GOP critics.

Womick raised eyebrows at the Legislature when he claimed at a 2013 hearing that an electromagnetic weapon had earlier been set off in Shelbyville. Officials said they had no record of an attack.