Richard Royal (R-171)

Richard Royal today switched to the Republican Party. I’m told he was intending to wait until qualifying, but went on and did it this morning.

State Representative Richard Royal was elected to the House of Representatives in 1983. He represents the 171st District, which includes the counties of Mitchell and Colquitt. Representative Royal currently serves on the Appropriations Committee, Natural Resources Committee and Ways & Means Committee where he also serves as Chairman of the Property Tax Sub-committee. The legislator was also appointed to the Tobacco Advisory Committee by the Speaker of the House and to the Fiscal Affairs Committee by the Governor.

Welcome aboard.


  1. Another rural Georgia Democrat gone…

    The Democratic Party of Georgia is quickly becoming the Democratic Party of Metro-Atlanta, and to be frank, there aren’t enough liberals in metro-Atlanta to win a statewide election.

    This sucks.

  2. schleyguy says:

    My guess is that when Royal meets Melvin and Willie Lee he will then be in search of an even “purer” party!

  3. DoubleDawg3 says:

    Good news for the GOP — Richard Royal is a class act — Does anyone think he’ll get a Chairmanship back now, anytime soon?

  4. atlantaman says:

    Just because you don’t support a “wacked out” socialist agenda, it doesn’t make you a bigot looking for a purer party.

    I’m going to be curious to see just how far some of the Dems on this message board can be pushed by the antics of some of their Dems in the Legislature. Let me tell you there is going to be a power battle in the Dem caucus and Dem party, if not this upcoming term then the next one. Bobby Kahn and all the Caucus leadership are going to be out of jobs.

    Wait until they get in positions where people acutally start listening to them. Everytime Alisha Thomas or Vincent Fort get’s one of their ideas shot down it will be due to racism. Shackles, whips, and slave hymnals will be standard props issued to each member of the Caucus to be used on a daily basis. Reparations will become the cornerstone of the Dem Party of GA.

  5. pathfinder says:

    Richard Royal is already a sub committee chair of the Ways and Means Committee. While he is very well respected by in the House for his knowledge on tax issues, the Chairman of the committee is Larry O’Neil who is very tight with the both the leadership and the Governor so don’t look for any changes there.

    The interesting question is what might happen with Mickey Channel now that he has switched. Jeff Brown has decided not to run for re election. Rep. Brown was the Chairman of the Appropriations sub committee on Health and Human Services. This is Rep. Channel’s area of expertise. He will clearly be looking to move into that spot but expect some resistance from other Republicans who have been waiting for their turn at a leadership post.

    Also, expect these two announced party switchers to be joined by at least two more conservative rural Democrats in the next few days. Add on top of this the fact that retiring rural Democratic legislators Terry Coleman and Robert Ray will likely be replaced with Republicans by the voters in those rural districts. The end result will be a closing of the door of the Democratic party’s connection to its rural roots.

    At the same time, urban Democrats have even managed to find someone more liberal and confrontational than Nan Orrock to be the frontrunner for her House seat that she is vacating to run for the Senate.

    This will lead Dubose Porter and the existing House Democratic leadership in a very tenuous position as the party’s left wing firebrands start clamoring for a greater role. The end result could be a full blown nuclear melt down in the House by the Democratic party.

    As this develops, look to see if the Republicans move to stake a generational hold on the electoral mainstream. They can do that by truly acting like the reform party they claimed to be when they were out of power. They can start by placing greater emphasis on tax and spend issues like TaBOR, property tax reassessment caps, repeal of the car title tax, and roll back of the state income tax. On the education front, they will need to roll out plans for greater school choice and charter schools and more accountability from the teachers. Transportation, and air and water quality concerns, and energy costs also beg for innovative new ideas. Finally, a fresh look at good government concerns starting with cleaning up how we handle redistricting needs to be addressed. (The governor has appointed an impressive study committee on this issue but it is questionable how the legislature will respond — interestingly, there are no legislators on the commission.)

    All together this will make for an interesting next couple of years under the Gold Dome.

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