Trump taps ex-Tennessee House speaker for US utility board

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FILE – In this Jan. 23, 2018, file photo, Republican Beth Harwell addresses the audience during the Gubernatorial Forum on Education at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. President Donald Trump has nominated Harwell to serve on the board of directors of the nation’s largest public utility. In a news release Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020 Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander praised the nomination of Beth Harwell to the Tennessee Valley Authority board.
(George Walker IV/The Tennessean via AP, Pool, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — President Donald Trump has nominated a former Tennessee House speaker to serve on the board of directors of the nation’s largest public utility.

In a news release Tuesday, Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander praised the nomination of Beth Harwell to the Tennessee Valley Authority board.

Harwell, a longtime Nashville Republican lawmaker, was elected speaker in 2011. She left the role and the Legislature in her unsuccessful 2018 bid for governor.

Since leaving office, Harwell also has been hired as a visiting professor of political science at Middle Tennessee State University.

Alexander also praised the nomination of East Tennessee State University President Brian Noland to the federal utility’s board. He took over as the university’s president in January 2012 after serving six years as chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education System.

The Tennessee Valley Authority serves almost 10 million people in parts of seven southeastern states.

Nominations to the utility’s board are subject to U.S. Senate approval.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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