Credit: Courtesy of Sheree Ralston Campaign
Sheree Ralston qualifies to fill district seat held by her late husband
Sheree Ralston, the widow of the late Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, became the first to qualify for his 7th District House seat.
“I look forward to a great campaign,” Ralston said to reporters as she walked out of the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.
Also qualifying Monday morning was conservative North Georgia talk show host Brian K. Pritchard.
“I’m excited to be on the ballot to run for Georgia House District 7,” Pritchard said after qualifying.
The Special Election for Georgia House District 7 will fill the vacancy left following the death of David Ralston. He represented the district, which includes Fannin, Gilmer, and a portion of Dawson counties. He became Georgia’s 73rd House Speaker om 2010 and, at the time of his death, was the longest-serving Republican speaker in the nation.
Sheree Ralston is the executive director of the Fannin County Development Authority, which focuses on economic development and workforce training.
During the 2022 legislative session, Speaker Ralston repeatedly credited Sheree with convincing him of the importance of passing the massive Mental Health Parity Act. If elected, Sheree is expected to continue work in that area.
“We’ve talked about mental health (issues) for a long, long time,” David Ralston said during an interview on GPB-TV Lawmakers last March. “She challenged me one day and said, ‘Why can’t y’all do something without worrying about the next election?”
He called it a good question and, despite some opposition, successfully pushed through Georgia’s landmark House Bill 1013.
Her opponent, Pritchard, also plans to look at mental health because “the original bill that went to the Senate had “a lot of things stripped out of it.”
Pritchard, who founded FetchYourNews.com in 2010 and broadcasts his talk show from Ellijay, said David Ralston considered him a friend.
On Twitter, Pritchard has posted #SheisNotDavid, referring to Sheree Ralston.
When asked how he felt about running against Sheree Ralston, Pritchard said, “I wish her well. I’m running for the seat. House Speaker David Ralston knew I was running for the seat.”
Qualifying ends on Wednesday, and the Special Election for District 7 takes place on Jan. 3, 2023. Georgia’s 2023 General Assembly begins on Jan. 9.