Georgia House of Representatives' parties elect leaders

By Walter C. Jones
Morris News Service
ATLANTA – The Republican and Democratic members of the House of Representatives met separately Monday with their newly elected colleagues, and the Republicans kept their team in place while the Democrats replaced their caucus chairman.
When the General Assembly convenes in January, Republicans will hold more seats than at any time since the Civil War and are just one shy of commanding a two-thirds majority that would allow them to pass constitutional amendments and override vetoes without a single Democratic vote. 
Observers were watching as the meeting began to see if they would pick up that last vote with the House's sole independent, Rep. Rusty Kidd of Milledgeville, who has said he's considering joining the party after Democrats tried to get him defeated last week. But he didn't appear, and he's still making up his mind.
The GOP voted to keep its leaders, although Rep. Delvis Dutton, of Glennville, tried to unseat Caucus Chairwoman Donna Shelton of Dacula. He said he wanted more vigorous policy debates during the closed-door caucus meetings the party holds during the session.
"People are concerned with what we're going to face in January," he said.
Shelton said she believes debate is healthy out of the public eye "in the right location. That is amongst family."
Democrats met at the same time in the smaller Senate chamber. They did replace their caucus chairman, Rep. Brian Thomas of Lilburn with Rep. Virgil Fludd of Tyrone.
Fludd said there was no philosophical disagreement only that he felt his business experience would better equip him to improve the functioning of the party organization. Thomas is a geologist.
"This caucus is headed in the right direction. We just need to tinker to get there faster," Fludd said.


More Local

Gray found guilty of rape

Guilty was the verdict reached in the sleepwalking rape trial of Benjamin Gray. After three hours after beginning their deliberation, the ju ... Read More


Sexsomnia or rape? Verdict in jury’s hands

Closing arguments in the sleepwalking rape trial of Benjamin Gray concluded Friday. Coweta County Assistant District Attorney Herb Cranford ... Read More


118 Newnan High students tested for TB

More than a hundred tuberculosis exposure tests were administered at Newnan High School on Friday, as earlier in the week a NHS student was ... Read More


Senoia man arrested after fleeing from officer

A Senoia area man was arrested Tuesday and taken to the Coweta County Jail after allegedly leading a Coweta County sheriff's deputy on a hig ... Read More


UPDATE

Wreck victim in fair condition

James Hand, who was injured in a motor vehicle crash Thursday morning, was listed in fair condition Friday at Atlanta Medical Center. Hand w ... Read More

Prescribed burn smokes out Lake Redwine

A large fire that brought days of smoke and acrid smells to the Lake Redwine area was a prescribed burn that was done in accordance with cur ... Read More