David Ralston stepping down as Georgia House Speaker over ‘health challenge’

ATLANTA — Georgia’s speaker of the House says he will not seek nomination for the position in the next legislative season.

Rep. David Ralston said he will finish his current term as House speaker, which ends in January, but said some health issues have come up so he will not seek the position next year.

“I need to take time to address a health challenge which has arisen recently, and the House needs a Speaker who can devote the necessary time and energy to the office. I love the House and want to see the honorable men and women who serve in it succeed. I will work the remainder of my term as Speaker to ensure a smooth transition for my successor,” Ralston said in a news release Friday.

Ralston is currently running unopposed for the state’s 7th House district and said he intends to remain a representative.


“Serving as Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives has been the honor of a lifetime, and I owe a heartfelt thank you to my colleagues for the trust and confidence they placed in me thirteen years ago,” Ralston continued.

In a statement, Gov. Brian Kemp praised Ralston as a great leader.

“David Ralston has been a steadfast leader for Georgia throughout his time as Speaker, and our state is better off thanks to his wisdom and commitment to all Georgians while guiding the House through challenging times. The Speaker and Sheree have been dear friends to Marty and me over the last few years, and we deeply appreciate their friendship. While his service as Speaker is coming to a close, I know I will continue to ask my friend for his advice and counsel.”

Ralston was first elected to the House in 2002 and was first elected as speaker of the House in 2010. He is currently the longest-serving state House speaker in the country.

The next legislative session starts Jan. 9.


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