Governor Nathan Deal is about to pick a judge for the Coweta Judicial Circuit Superior Court. On the list of names provided to him from the Judicial Nominating Commission is State Senator Bill Hamrick. If Hamrick is picked – considered very likely but not a done deal – then the State Republican Party would provide a replacement name on the GOP ballot, depending on the timing of the announcement.
The party is actively preparing for such a replacement, with Executive Committee members primarily discussing three names. State Reps Bill Hembree and Kevin Cooke, and former House Speaker Glenn Richardson are being actively discussed.
Richarson through a friend relayed he is aware of the potential opening and is aware his name has been discussed. He says there are many more steps before the selection process would even begin, and isn’t sure at this point it is something he would be offered or would pursue.
Richardson left power under a cloud of scandal that enveloped both his personal and public life. His own personal mental health became public news even before he left office.
Now, out of the limelight, Speaker Richardson has been able to rebuild a professional career and rehabilitate himself back to health. He has made some forays near politics, most recently serving as the Chairman of the 14th District GOP Convention.
Richardson seems to have weathered his personal storm. I am glad that he has done so.
Knowing that “everything’s going to be OK” does not mean everything is going to be the same, however. Returning to the legislature, when ethics problems are still modus operandi, would likely not be good for either Richardson nor the Senate.
Doing so via appointment of the Republican party would also remove any pretense that the party stands for strong ethical standards. Critics could, and will, use this against the party at ever opportunity. It would be an action that lacks sufficient defense.
I remain glad that Speaker Richardson has found peace and stability in his personal life. I would urge that he not consider a return to the place that preyed upon his inner demons.