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Ramsey, key figure in Tennessee GOP boom, takes victory lap
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, a driving force in the Republican boom in Tennessee, is taking a final victory lap before retiring from politics.

Ramsey will be honored at the state GOP's annual Statesmen's Dinner in Nashville on Friday evening, an event that has grown along with the fortunes of Republicans in Tennessee politics.

Ramsey as Senate majority leader ignored a longstanding "gentlemen's agreement" between Democrats and Republicans not to target incumbents. And under his leadership, the GOP first gained a slim majority and then saw the chamber elect its first Republican speaker since Reconstruction.

Ramsey didn't stop there, and relentlessly pushed for more gains until Republicans reached their current 28-5 advantage in the Senate. He announced earlier this year that he will retire at the end of his term.