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Ronald Lynn Ramsey (/ˈræmzi/; born November 20, 1955) is an American auctioneer, politician and lobbyist who served as the 49th Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee and Speaker of the State Senate from 2007 to 2017. A Republican from Blountville in East Tennessee, Ramsey succeeded long-term Democratic Lieutenant Governor John S. Wilder in 2007, who had held the office of Lieutenant Governor since 1971.

Ron Ramsey
Ron Ramsey.jpg
49th Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee
In office
January 20, 2007 – January 9, 2017
GovernorPhil Bredesen
Bill Haslam
Preceded byJohn Wilder
Succeeded byRandy McNally
Member of the Tennessee Senate
from the 4th district
In office
January 1997 – January 9, 2017
Preceded byJim Holcomb
Succeeded byJon Lundberg
Member of the Tennessee House of Representatives
from the 1st district
In office
January 1993 – January 1997
Preceded byJim Holcomb
Succeeded bySteve Godsey
Personal details
Ronald Lynn Ramsey

(1955-11-20) November 20, 1955 (age 63)
Johnson City, Tennessee, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Sindy Parker (m. 1980)
EducationEast Tennessee State University (BS)

Tennesseans do not elect their lieutenant governor; rather, the Speaker of the Senate, who is first in the line of succession to the governor, is granted the title by statute.

Ron Ramsey announced that he would not seek re-election in 2016, and would instead retire from politics. State Representative Jon Lundberg (R-Bristol) won the primary election on August 4, 2016 to take Ramsey's seat.

Early yearsEdit

Ramsey graduated from Sullivan Central High School in 1973, and later obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in 1978, majoring in Building Construction Technology at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City.[1][2] He is a member of the advisory board of the Farm Credit Association, a former president of the Blountville Business Association, and a former president and current member of the Bristol TN-VA Association of Realtors. He currently works as a real estate broker and an auctioneer.

State legislatureEdit

Ramsey represents Senate District 4, which encompasses Johnson and Sullivan counties in East Tennessee.

He was elected to the General Assembly as a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives in 1992, and served two terms. During his time as a state representative, Ramsey represented the 1st district, composed of Sullivan County. He was elected to the state Senate in 1996[3] and was reelected in 2000, 2004 and 2008.

In 2007, Ramsey garnered the support all of the GOP senators and one Democratic senator, Rosalind Kurita of Clarksville, in the vote for speakership of the Senate. He won with 18 votes to 15 for Wilder. He is the first Republican to serve as speaker of the Senate in 140 years.[4] Ramsey appointed Kurita as speaker pro tempore in return for her support. Ramsey was reelected as speaker of the Senate of the 106th General Assembly in 2009 by a vote of 19–14, making him the longest serving Republican lieutenant governor in Tennessee state history, and the only one since the speaker was granted the additional title of lieutenant governor by state statute.

During the 2004 election cycle, Ramsey was one of a few prominent Tennessee General Assembly leadership members who accepted campaign contributions from both the Jack Daniel's PAC and the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of Tennessee PAC.[5][6]

In 2008, Ramsey endorsed Fred Thompson for President of the United States.[7]

On March 16, 2016, Ramsey posted on his Facebook page that he would not seek re-election[8] and leave politics all together, dispelling rumors that he was to run for governor in 2018.

2010 candidacy for governorEdit

On February 28, 2009, Ramsey announced that he would run for the Republican nomination for governor of Tennessee.[9]

In July 2010, 20 Tea Party organizations, about half of the roughly 40 Tea Party groups in Tennessee, endorsed Ramsey for governor because of his stances on state sovereignty, health care, immigration and fiscal issues.[10]

On July 14, 2010, Ramsey said that states would have to deal with attempts to bring Sharia law to the U.S.: "But you cross the line when they start trying to bring Sharia law into the United States. Now, you could even argue whether being a Muslim is actually a religion, or is it a nationality, way of life, cult, whatever you want to call it. Now certainly we do protect our religions, but at the same time this is something we are going to have to face."[11]

On August 5, 2010, Ramsey finished third, receiving 22% votes of the total for the GOP Nomination in the state of Tennessee.

Electoral historyEdit

Tennessee State Senate District 2 Republican Primary Election, 1996
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ron Ramsey 11,891 62.57
Republican Wally Boyd 7,113 37.43
Tennessee State Senate District 2 Election, 2000
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ron Ramsey (inc.) 36,105 71.5
Democratic Vance Carrier 14,394 28.5
Write-ins Write-ins 3 0.0
Tennessee State Senate District 2 Election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ron Ramsey (inc.) 43,560 65.58
Democratic Wm. "John" McKamey 22,867 34.42
Tennessee State Senate District 2 Election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ron Ramsey (inc.) 48,774 72.73
Democratic Bill Jones 18,292 27.27
Tennessee Governor Republican Primary Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bill Haslam 343,817 47.40
Republican Zach Wamp 211,735 29.19
Republican Ron Ramsey 159,555 22.00
Republican Joe Kirkpatrick 6,787 0.94
Republican Basil Marceaux, Sr. 3,514 0.48
Tennessee State Senate District 4 Election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ron Ramsey (inc.) 55,913 100.00


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 17, 2016. Retrieved 2011-12-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) "Meet Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey"
  2. ^[permanent dead link] "State gubernatorial candidate talks campaign issues in speech"
  3. ^ Lieutenant Governor Ramsey to keynote graduation, East Tennessean (East Tennessee State University), December 6, 2007
  4. ^ "Lieutenant governor's contest may be a mystery worth decoding"[permanent dead link]. Larry Daughtrey. The Tennessean. May 28, 2006.
  5. ^ "Entity Details -".
  6. ^ "Drink at Naifeh fete courtesy of Jack Daniel's: Lawmakers, lobbyists mingle at Coon Supper"[permanent dead link]. Tennessean. Trent Seibert. April 27, 2006.
  7. ^ "Ron Ramsey Says Nation Needs Fred Thompson". The Chattanoogan. August 20, 2007. Archived from the original on June 3, 2015. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
  8. ^ "Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey decides not to seek re-election". The Tennessean. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  9. ^[dead link]
  10. ^ Sisk, Chas (July 7, 2010). "20 tea party groups in Tennessee endorse Ron Ramsey for governor". The Tennessean. Retrieved July 8, 2010.[dead link]
  11. ^ Michael Cass, The Tennessean (July 28, 2010). "Tennessee politician's remarks on Islam raise uproar". USA TODAY. The Associated Press. Archived from the original on February 8, 2011. Retrieved September 11, 2017.


External linksEdit