NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — State Sen. Ferrell Haile will take over duties as Tennessee Senate speaker pro tempore.

Republican Senate Speaker Randy McNally of Oak Ridge announced the appointment during a Thursday session.

Haile, a Gallatin Republican, replaces former Sen. Jim Tracy, who has taken a job as state director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development program.

Haile has served as deputy speaker and vice chairman of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee.

Republican Sen. Janice Bowling of Tullahoma will assume the deputy speaker duties.