The Georgia State House Republican Caucus came back to Atlanta a little bit smaller Monday morning. Before last week’s election, the Republican Caucus had been 103 members. But at least two seats (maybe three) were projected to have been lost last week, bringing the size down to no more than 101. One of those lost was GRA-endorsed State Representative Philip Singleton (R-Coweta), whom Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) had vengefully and deliberately thrown under the bus by arranging to redistrict him out of his district, apparently because Ralston would rather give more seats to the Democrats than allow a strong conservative to stay in office.
In fact, the House Republican Caucus has been slowly diminishing under Ralston’s leadership for the last six years. In 2020, Republicans lost five seats in the State House. In 2018, Republicans under David Ralston’s leadership lost nine seats. Not since the election of 2016, when President Donald Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton, have Republicans in the State House not lost seats in their caucus. That year they gained a modest two seats.
During the wave of the T.E.A. Party movement in the first half of the 2010s, Republicans saw steady gains in Georgia and across the country. But as Republicans have failed to live up to the promises of reform made under that movement, Republican voters have become increasingly disillusioned.
97 of the House Republican Caucus members gathered in Atlanta to vote on who they would support to replace Ralston as Speaker of the Georgia State House. Both State Rep. Jon Burns (R-Newington) and Rep. Barry Fleming (R-Harlem) claimed they had been promised sufficient support by their fellow Republicans to win the election. But the vote was conducted by secret ballot without any way of knowing if someone would violate their pledge.
When the results were announced, members say it was reported that Jon Burns won the vote. However, both candidates agreed not to announce the final tally.
Rep. Burns has served as the Majority Leader in the State House since 2015, and he was reported to be Ralston’s pick for his replacement. We hope that Rep. Burns will learn from the errors of his predecessor and allow legislation promoting Republican principles and possessing grassroots support to freely reach the House floor for a debate and vote. Continuing to go to war with conservatives in his own party will only lead to political suicide.
The errors of Mr. Ralston that we hope Mr. Burns learns to avoid are voluminous. Yet last week, the sycophants for Big Government Corporate Cronyism at Peach Pundit attacked us for celebrating Ralston stepping down as Speaker of the House, even accusing us of somehow being “jealous” of him for being so “successful.” That was funny.
To set the record straight: We’re as “jealous” of Ralston as George Washington was jealous of Benedict Arnold in the middle of the War for Independence. Ralston’s been the best player on the Democrat team. Think about it. No Democrat in the state legislature has blocked more Republican principle-led legislation over the last thirteen years than Ralston. No Democrat has passed more Big Government expansions than Ralston. No one in the GRA is jealous of Ralston’s success at promoting the Democrat agenda.
Time would fail us to recount all the things Ralston has done over the last decade to antagonize heroes within the Republican Party and block the advancement of Republican principles from our platform. Earlier this year he attacked our endorsed Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene publicly on the House floor, and Greene really has been a heroine for our principles.
For years Speaker Ralston prevented the Constitutional Carry bill from reaching the floor for a vote, and he attacked former Republican State House Rep. Charles Gregory (R-Cobb) and then later Rep. Matt Gurtler (R-Tiger) and Rep. Colton Moore (R-Dade)(now elected to State Senate) for trying to advance that bill. (He recruited Burt Reeves to run against Gregory, and now Reeves’ district has flipped Democrat.) Only this year when Governor Brian Kemp thew his weight behind Constitutional Carry did Ralston finally relent and allow the bill to come forward for a vote.
During the pandemic, Ralston harassed fellow Republicans such as Rep. David Clark (R-Suwanee) to get tested, be contact traced, and wear a mask just to be able to perform the role they were elected to do on the House floor, even when they had no symptoms of any illness—the folly of which measures are only now being fully realized.
Speaker Ralston shoved down our throats legislation that many Republicans and conservatives had great alarms over (e.g., the recent “Mental Health Parity” bill). Meanwhile, he blocked legislation to enact real election integrity reform to prevent cheating, making it hard for those of us who have been volunteering at the polls to be able to catch all the ways Democrats may attempt to cheat in these elections. As a result, it is possible that because of David Ralston’s actions Herschel Walker could have been cheated out of a win in the U.S. Senate race. How can we motivate activists to push for a runoff when so many have doubts about election integrity?
But perhaps the worst of all, although Speaker David Ralston had promised before he was elected Speaker that he would allow one pro-life bill per year, for most of the thirteen years he was Speaker he blocked legislation that would have saved the lives of tens of thousands of preborn babies!
Beyond that, he also twice blocked legislation that would have simply said we don’t have to pay for abortion murder with our tax dollars. For these alone, Ralston has blood on his hands before God. He has made himself an enemy of God, an enemy of the helpless (and God has harsh words in the Bible for those who pervert justice for the helpless), and an obstacle of heroes such as former State Senator Mike Crane (R-Coweta) (now 3rd Congressional District GA GOP Chairman) who bravely brought forward the legislation in 2012 and 2013 that would have permanently ended that tax subsidizing of abortion. (Governor Nathan Deal provided only a temporary solution.)
As Proverbs 29:2 says, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” Ralston’s sickness ought to be a warning to others who act as he does that God is just, and just as the Scriptures tell us that God providentially brought sickness upon King Asa and King Herod of old, God sometimes even today brings sickness upon His enemies to stop them from furthering harm.
And we haven’t even brought up the criminal victims who never got their day in court because of the endless case postponements Ralston was able to get as an attorney for his clients while Speaker. As the AJC reported, “Ralston has tied up cases for clients charged with child molestation, child cruelty, assault, terroristic threats, drunk driving and other crimes.”
In short, David Ralston has been the worst thing in Georgia Republican politics over the last thirteen years. Let the newly elected Speaker Jon Burns take note and not repeat his evils.