Leadership sledding at the Capitol

House Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, and House Majority Caucus Chairman Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, go sledding at the Tennessee State Capitol on Feb. 18, 2021.

It’s no secret that Tennessee’s Capitol Hill is excellent for sledding. But despite its proximity to state legislative offices, two top state lawmakers had never been down the snowy slope — until Thursday, that is.

“There’s usually like 100 or 200 people sledding down the back of the Capitol there,” House Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, told Main Street Nashville. “It looked like it would be fun.”

Over dinner on Wednesday evening, Sexton and House Majority Caucus Chair Jeremy Faison decided to check out a new aspect of Capitol Hill for themselves.

“I believe that the government belongs to the people,” Faison told Main Street Nashville. “As a legislator, I believe this is the people's Capitol. And I came in Wednesday, and I saw people sledding down the hill, and I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, I got to do that.' ”

On Thursday, Faison brought the sled. A blanket of fresh powder provided ideal conditions for the venture.

“It’s faster than you think it’s going to be because there’s two dips,” Sexton said. “It was fun. I’d do it again.”

Faison’s first toboggan went smoothly, but it went slightly awry on the second run.

“Somehow I started faster, and I remember thinking, 'All right this is gonna hurt,' ” Faison said. “I hit the curb in a different spot that didn't have enough snow or something, and I mean, it rocked my world. I was completely up in the air. I bit a hole in my tongue.

“It was so much fun,” he added. “I got thinking, ‘How many legislators have done this?’ ”

In town for procedural “gaveling in” as the legislative week was canceled due to the weather, Sexton said the two were at the Capitol until almost midnight Thursday. When they left, there were still sledders going down the hill.

“I think this could make the average Tennessean who thinks we're all just old stick-in-the-muds or bigshot politicians, make them realize that we're just normal like them, we just want to have a fun time, too,” Faison said.

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