State lawmakers Wednesday took time out from legislative issues to honor a transformative member of their past.
The House chambers were packed with current and former legislators to pay tribute to Tom Murphy. The late west Georgia Democrat served as Speaker nearly 30 years until voted out of office in 2002. Murphy died three years ago at the age of 83.
House Speaker David Ralston (R - Blue Ridge) noted Murphy’s influence in his hey-day of overseeing the chamber.
"He breathed life and an independent spirit into that House over a long period of time. And truly made this House not only a strong legislative chamber, but an equal partner in governing this state."
State Representative and Democratic gubernatorial candidate DuBose Porter (D - Dublin) spoke of Murphy’s fierce defense of Georgians who needed it the most.
"If there was an issue about the disabled, Tom Murphy was that voice. If there was an issue about the needs of children in this state, Tom Murphy was that voice. If there was an issue about the things that affected the needs of elderly in this state, Tom Murphy was that voice."
A portrait of the late Tom Murphy was unveiled. It was hung just outside the House chamber.