ATLANTA –Georgia Rep. David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) announced today that he will not seek nomination for Speaker of the House for the 2023-2024 legislative session, citing a “health challenge.” He will, however, serve the remainder of his current term as Speaker, which ends in January, and his term as state representative for the 2023-2024 legislative term. He is unopposed for the seat.
“I appreciate the continued support of my friends and neighbors in Fannin, Gilmer, and Dawson counties,” said Ralston. “I intend to serve out the next term as their state representative and fulfill the duties they have entrusted to me.”
Ralston, first elected to the House in 2002 and as Speaker in 2010, is the longest currently-serving state house speaker in the country. He is Georgia’s 73rd House Speaker.
“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,” said Ralston. “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 was first elected to the House in 2002 and was first elected as Speaker in 2010. He is the longest currently-serving state house speaker in the country.
A champion for job creation and economic development, Ralston has been a driving force behind many legislative accomplishments which have made Georgia the best state in the nation for business year after year, such as Georgia’s Transportation Funding Act of 2015 and the largest-ever income tax cut in state history.
Ralston has also worked with leaders in both parties to move Georgia forward through bipartisan legislation like Georgia’s comprehensive adoption reform in 2018 and the state’s first-ever paid parental leave policy for state employees and teachers in 2021.
In 2022, Ralston led the fight for historic reform of mental health care in Georgia. Georgia’s Mental Health Parity Act and accompanying funding transforms both access to and delivery of mental health services and treatment options throughout the state.
“I want to thank all the staff members who have assisted me throughout the years, particularly my Chief of Staff Spiro Amburn who has been by my side from the beginning,” said Ralston. “I could not have done all of this without the love and support of my family, particularly my wife, Sheree, and our children. They have been my rock, and I love them very much.”
The Speaker of the House is elected by and from the members of the House on the first day of each biennial legislative session. The Speaker serves as the House’s chief administrative officer. The Speaker also presides over House floor sessions, assigns bills to committees, and calls matters before the House for debate.
The House of Representatives will elect a new Speaker when the House convenes for the first day of the 2023-2024 legislative session on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023.