(NASHVILLE), December 26, 2019 — State Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) said today he opposes a proposal to remove Cordell Hull’s name from the state’s legislative office building so that it can be named for former Governor Winfield Dunn. The building was named for Hull, who is best known as the longest-serving U.S. Secretary of State, a year after its completion in 1954. It was completely renovated in 2018 and converted for office use by the Tennessee General Assembly and the Comptroller of the Treasury.
Yager represents Byrdstown the hometown of Hull, who also served in the Tennessee General Assembly before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.
“Both Secretary Hull and Gov. Dunn served our state and nation with great distinction and are deserving of being honored,” said Sen. Yager. “In fact, the first political campaign that I worked in was in support of Governor Dunn and I continue to hold him and his service to our state in the highest regard. However, it would be a disservice to take Secretary Hull’s name of the office building which has honored him for some 64 years.”
Yager said he was encouraged that Lt. Governor Randy McNally cautioned lawmakers in making a quick decision regarding a name change. McNally said a deliberate process should be employed before removing or adjusting historical monuments and designations. Like Yager, McNally also got his start in politics by campaigning for Gov. Dunn and praised him as a “great man and outstanding governor.”
“We have other new buildings of equal importance that could be named in his honor and I will work to identify the best suited for this purpose,” Yager added. “We don’t have to remove Cordell Hull’s name off a building to accomplish it.”