Ga state house

Georgia State House representatives convened to elect a new House Speaker in November 2022 after Rep. David Ralston announced he'd step down from the role.

Credit: Riley Bunch / GPB News

The panel

Leo Smith, @leosmithtweets, GOP political consultant and CEO Engaged Futures

Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, @mmo_mary, (D) Decatur

Maya King, @mayaaking, politics reporter, The New York Times

Patricia Murphy, @MurphyAJC, political reporter and columnist, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


The breakdown 

1. Georgia's Senate race is the only undecided Senate contest in the country. 

  • With races called in Nevada and Arizona over the weekend, control of the Senate doesn't come down to Georgia, as it did last year. 
  • The AJC's Patricia Murphy says with Democrats retaining control of the Senate, some of the intensity of the race is lowered. But having a 51-49 majority could be beneficial. 
    • Currently, Vice President Kamala Harris is the tiebreaking vote in the U.S. Senate. 
    • If Democrats take the majority, they wouldn't have to share committees or rely on outliers in the party, and could provide steady confirmation of President Biden’s judicial nominees.

LISTEN: Patricia Murphy comments on the new stakes of the Senate race.

2. With the pressure off Georgia, both parties reflect on candidate quality during last week elections. 

  • Many question if Herschel Walker can garner votes in the December runoff without the balance of power in the Senate coming down to the Peach State.
  • At the state level, the GOP won the ballot everywhere except in the U.S. Senate. 
    • Incumbents Gov. Brian Kemp and Brad Raffensperger won after going against Trump and accepting the results of the 2020 election. 

      • Meanwhile, Trump ally Burt Jones was elected as lieutenant governor. 

LISTEN: State Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver speaks on the glass ceiling some women have faced on statewide races.

3.  Members of Georgia's GOP meet today to find the successor to State House Speaker David Ralston. 

  • Ralston announced he was stepping down as speaker to address health challenges. A new leader will be elected today, and installed Jan. 9 at the beginning of the legislative session.
  • Majority Leader Jon Burns won the position. 
  • There will also be new leadership in the Senate, as Lt. Gov. Jeff Duncan did not run for reelection.
    • Lt. Gov.-elect Burt Jones will be the new president of the Senate next year.

4. The U.S. House remains up for grabs.

  • If Republicans take the House, it's unlikely they will find common ground with the Democratic Senate. 
  •  A Democratic hold of the House would mean President Biden's party would maintain its trifecta of power for another two years.
  • Maya King explains what control of the U.S. House means for outliers like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

LISTEN: Maya King explains the how dynamics could change in the U.S. House.

Tuesday on Political Rewind: The AJC's Tamar Hallerman joins the show.