David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, has again been re-elected as Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives. Ralston was first elected as speaker in January 2010 and serves as the 73rd Speaker of the House.
Ralston addressed the House following his re-election.
"It is my hope that we will begin this work with a spirit of optimism and with a commitment to the ideals of civility, mutual respect and decorum," said Ralston. "Today, we are a growing, dynamic state - reaching with optimism to a future filled with promise and greatness.
"We begin this session at a moment of unprecedented change," continued Ralston. "Our nation has chosen a new course, due in part to the feeling of many that their voices were not being heard. I am hopeful that one result of this change will be a return of power and authority to the states, including our own, because I for one reject the notion that Washington knows best."
Ralston listed some key issues he anticipates the house will focus on during the upcoming session: healthcare, education, public safety personnel salaries and benefits and economic development and job creation.
Ralston was nominated by Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee Rep. Jay Powell, R-Camilla. Dean of the House Rep. Calvin Smyre, D-Columbus, who has served in the house for 43 years, seconded the Speaker Ralston's nomination.
The speaker serves as the presiding officer of the House of Representatives.
He or she is elected by fellow members of the House to serve as the chamber's leader at the beginning of each two-year term. The Speaker of the House is the third in the line of gubernatorial succession.
Ralston was born in Ellijay, where he graduated from Gilmer County High School.
He went on to attend Young Harris College and North Georgia College & State University (now the University of North Georgia) earning his bachelor's degree. He later received a law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law.
In 1992, Ralston was elected to the Georgia State Senate and served until 1998 when he won the Republican nomination for Attorney General of Georgia.
In 2002, Ralston was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives. He represents the 7th District which includes Fannin and Gilmer counties and a portion of Dawson County.