Cade Cothren is the top aide to Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada. An investigation by USA Today has revealed that Cothren sent sexually explicit text messages to a number of female interns while he served as House Republicans’ press secretary. The messages also reveal that Cothren used derogatory, insulting language to talk about other women he knew. Cothren sent the explicit texts during the period from 2014 to 2016.
Cothren’s current boss, Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada, was included in some of Cothren’s degrading messages sent to women. Cothren has admitted that he sent “derogatory” messages to women but says that the messages were part of a consensual relationship between himself and the women. Cothren also said that he was older and wiser now. “I’m just not the same guy that I was several years back,” Cothren said. “I was young and dumb and immature. There’s no excuse for it at all, and I’m not trying to make excuses, but I can tell you that I have changed since then.”
Here’s what you need to know about Cade Cothren:
1. He Solicited Oral Sex & Nude Photos from an Intern & Tried to Solicit Sex from a Lobbyist
USA Today obtained a trove of text messages sent by Cade Cothren from early 2014 to 2016. At the time, Cothren served as the House Republicans’ press secretary. Cothren, 32, now serves as the top aide to Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada.
While he was press secretary, Cothren sent text messages asking for oral sex and for naked photos from an intern. He also solicited sex from a lobbyist. Other messages implied that he would make sexual advances on another intern. Cothren’s messages also used derogatory language to describe women who had displeased him. He referred to one woman as a “c*nt”and said that police officers who had given him parking tickets were “rent a cop c***suckers.”
2. He Says He Once Had a Substance Abuse Problem & Admits He Used Cocaine in the Legislative Office Building
Cothren says that while he was press secretary, he turned to drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism to help him deal with the pressure of the job. He says that he used cocaine and other illegal drugs at the time. Cothren admitted that he even took cocaine in the legislative office building.
In a statement, Cothren said that he had used “maladaptic coping mechanisms” like drinking and taking drugs to cope with the pressure of his job. He wrote,
“like so many young, egotistical men aspiring to a career in politics that came before me, moving up the career ladder was met with unrelenting stress, peer pressure and unrealistic expectations. I know that is not an excuse. Nonetheless, I unfortunately turned to maladaptive coping mechanisms. However, I thank God for these experiences because they have allowed me a unique opportunity to witness to the young men who will come after me that actions have consequences.”
3. Cothren Reportedly Sent Racist Text Messages Referring to Black People as ‘Idiots’ & Calling Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston a ‘Thug N***er’
News Channel 5 says that it has obtained racist text messages referring to black people as “idiots” and insisting on calling Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston a “thug n***er.” Cothren has admitted to sending messages that made derogatory remarks about women, and he has admitted to sending “some of” the racist messages, but has not said which ones.
In one of the texts, Cothren allegedly said that “common core” was destroying the education system and that “black people are idiots” for supporting it. In another message, allegedly with Glen Casada himself, Cothren seemed to be using a “black people” meme to refer to a West Tennessee voting district. And in a third message, Cothren reportedly insisted that Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston should only be referred to as a “thug n***er.”
4. Cothren Has Been Working in Politics Ever Since Graduating from the University of Tennessee
Cothren graduated from the University of Tennessee at Knocksville in 2010 with a degree in political science. His first job after graduation was as a field representative for the US House of Representatives. From there, he went to work for the Tennessee House Republican Caucus. He was hired as a political director and then promoted to press secretary. Eventually he became director of communications. He now works as the top aide to House Speaker Glen Casada.
Cothren has said that he turned to drinking and drugs as a response to the intense pressure of his job.
5. Cothren’s Boss Says Everyone Deserves a Shot at Redemption
Cothren is top aide to Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada. After Cothren was accused of sending racist messages, Casada issued a statement in which he said that Cothren deserved a second chance. Casada says Cothren had come to him three years ago and had told him that he was dealing with personal issues and “wanted to seek help.” Casada says Cothren sought counseling and forgiveness so, Casada said, he “chose to believe that we all deserve a shot at redemption” and “gave Mr. Cothren this chance to prove himself.”