Rep. Mark Burkhalter, a Republican from John's Creek, will begin 2010 as Speaker of the Georgia House.
Meanwhile, Glenn Richardson will begin the New Year as a private citizen after a dramatic fall from power that began after his suicide attempt, revelations of an affair with a lobbyist, and allegations from his ex-wife that he abused the power of his office.
Burkhalter served as Speaker Pro Tem under Richardson, who resigned this afternoon
Speaker Glenn Richardson released the following statement about his resignation:
“Effective January 1, 2010, I will resign my position as Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives and as state Representative for the 19th District in Paulding County.
It has been an honor to serve the citizens of Paulding County as their Representative for 14 years and as Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives for the last five years. During this time, I have appreciated working with the members of the House and the people of Georgia to keep state government efficient and ensure a low tax burden for our fellow Georgians.
As Speaker, I have been well served by the entire staff of the House of Representatives, especially the staff in the Speaker's Office. To each of them I offer my profound thanks for their tireless efforts. And to my many friends and supporters throughout the state, thank you for standing by me even in the most difficult times. My service would not have been possible without you.
I am confident that House Leadership will continue to lead the House and its members as they serve all Georgians to the best of their abilities.
I recently made public that I have suffered from depression for many years. I continue to seek treatment and have made progress in dealing with this disease. In making this public disclosure, it was my hope to raise awareness and encourage others who suffer from this disease to come forward and seek treatment. I fear that the media attention of this week has deflected this message and done harm to many people who suffer from this condition.
I am thankful for the opportunities my service afforded me to make Georgia's future brighter. Though I will no longer be serving in elected office, my commitment to see a better tomorrow for our state remains. As always, I am confident that Georgia's best days are still ahead.”
Click the player below to hear an interview with editor of CapitolImpact.com Tom Crawford.
Contributors: Carl Zornes and Susanna Capelouto contributed to this story.