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Monday, November 8, 2010 - 12:39pm

Ga. House GOP Picks Leadership

Georgia House Republicans on Monday had their turn in electing new leadership. There were few changes, but they needed to fill a vacant seat for Majority Leader and elected Larry O’Neil of Bonaire. He was Governor Perdue’s former lawyer and had run unsuccessfully for speaker against David Ralston earlier this year.

The powerful speakership remains with Ralston. He told the Republican Caucus that decisions need to be made in a lean budget year that may not be popular, but they will be respected.

"When you’re governing you’re not gonna make everyone happy all the time," he said. "Our job is to advance a vision and agenda that I think the people of Georgia embraced last week and to move the ball down the field."

This is the largest House Republican majority in recent history with the party holding 109 seats. They added a bonus seat when State Representative Alan Powell from Hartwell, switched parties after being elected as a Democrat.

He says he was the last Democrat to be elected from his conservative district only because no-one was running against him.

“As I looked at the numbers I saw the changing demographics, and since I had no opposition I had no trouble moving over and join the majority party.”

Powell says he considers himself more of an independent who doesn’t always vote along party lines anyway.

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