Leadership Changes in Georgia Senate

November 15, 2012 16:07 pm

by Mike Hassinger · 30 comments

Nobody has all the backroom, inside-inside baseball details on it (yet) but Jim Galloway at the AJC has the relevant facts: Sen. David Shafer has been elected president pro-tem of the Senate, and Sen. Ronnie Chance was elected Majority leader after Sen. Chip Rogers withdrew from that contest. Sen. Cecil Staton won re-election to majority whip. But enough facts! Let the rumor-mongering and speculation begin! That’s what comments are for.UPDATE: In other positions, Sen. Butch Miller won Caucus Chairman, Sen. Judson Hill was elected Caucus Vice-Chairman and Sen. Steve Gooch got stuck with was elected Caucus Secretary.


Three Jack November 15, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Just when you think it can’t get any worse….

brasstownhigh November 15, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Interesting that every candidate that Bill Cowsert, Tommie Williams and Chip Rogers put on their team got beat.

It’s clear that the Republican senators want to see an overhaul and change from the last two years.

Mike Hassinger November 15, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Anytime somebody says “every candidate…” I’m intrigued. You want to name these candidates?

brasstownhigh November 15, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Anyone who pays any attention to the activity at the capitol knows the candidates. I guess you’re not as “in the loop” as thought.

Nathan November 15, 2012 at 4:57 pm

You didn’t answer his question. Humor us.

Bloodhound November 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm

I know a LEO in Walton that told me that Sen. Cowsert had himself introduced at the Walton County GOP monthly meeting in October as the Senate ProTem having been already elected to the office.

I wonder how he ‘splains this?

ryanhawk November 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Two guys who’ve never done anything outside of politics and Beth Merkleson. Should be a good show.

Spacey G November 15, 2012 at 5:42 pm


LoyaltyIsMyHonor November 15, 2012 at 11:54 pm

No Doubt that Cecil has photos of someone….most likely the LtG tying his shoes…how else do we explain this???

Andre November 15, 2012 at 4:56 pm

The question now is whether the first move by this new leadership team will be to remove and replace Don Balfour as Rules Committee Chairman.

Quite a few people will be disappointed if Balfour is able to retain his post, given the ethics questions surrounding the Senator from the 9th.

Three Jack November 15, 2012 at 5:01 pm

So Andre, you expect ethically challenged ‘leaders’ to actually perform ethically? Good luck with that.

Nathan November 15, 2012 at 5:12 pm

The list as I understand it (I may be repeating names, but you can live with it):
David Shafer – Pro-Tem
Ronnie Chance – Majority Leader
Cecil Staton – Majority Whip
Butch Miller – Caucus Chairman
Judson Hill – Caucus Vice-Chairman
Steve Gooch – Caucus Secretary

Mike Hassinger November 15, 2012 at 5:42 pm

I see I just updated what you already had here. Thanks.

xdog November 15, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Galloway’s article suggests Rogers’ jumped before he was pushed. Is that reading correct? I see Rogers answering the private sector call soon.

Ronnie Chance seems like an interesting guy–he’s tight with both Georgia Conservation Voters and Americans for Prosperity, he works with a special needs school, he’s married to an Englishwoman, he looks about 26.

Atticus Grinch November 17, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Well, Will the Winner is about to have some bills that need paying that exceed the reach of a government paycheck. Hamilton State Bank foreclosed on the hotel property in Calhoun, Georgia and then obtained an order from a Judge in Calhoun that allows the Bank to sue Rogers and Congressman Graves on the deficiency on the Note that they have have not paid. It will be interesting to see if their slick Atlanta lawyer can get them out of this jam.

Charlie November 17, 2012 at 10:47 pm

You have no idea what you’re talking about. Go drink another one and get back to college football.

ricstewart November 15, 2012 at 7:05 pm

This is historic. Highest-ranking woman in Georgia Senate history.

Charlie November 15, 2012 at 7:54 pm

In other news, Senator Balfour did not attend todays retreat, opting for the friendly confines of Las Vegas and the RGA meeting instead.

Cue the fat lady and play some Wagner.

bowersville November 16, 2012 at 9:31 am

Here’s what Galloway at P/I had to say this morning:

Senate Rules Chairman Don Balfour of Snellville did not attend the meeting. But his vote was placed in the hands of (Tommie) Williams and was cast by proxy. This puts Balfour on the wrong side of an important battle, and could indicate his time as chairman of the Senate’s most influential committee is about to come to an end.

Mark Rountree November 15, 2012 at 10:17 pm

Good choices.

Dave Bearse November 15, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Rogers is gone because even GOP tolerance for tin foil hats has its limits. A Better Georgia captuted the first 52 minutes of the Oct 11 closed door caucus convened by Rogers where he talked about Obama’s “war on the suburbs”, and featured anti-Agenda 21 nuttery.


Field Searcy, Obama birth certificate and the collapse of World Trade Center Tower 7 conspiracy theorist, emceed. The video presentation also featured a cameo from conservative talking-head Dick Morris that warns that Obama “wants to force everyone into the cities from whence our ancestors fled.”

About 23 minutes into the briefing, Searcy explains how Obama, aided by liberal organizations like the Center for American Progress and local chambers of commerce, are secretly using mind-control techniques to push their plan for forcible relocation on the gullible public […]

Baker November 15, 2012 at 10:58 pm

Thanks for pointing out the Field Searcy connection. I haven’t read much of these goings on and didn’t know he was in on it. That seals the insanity.

Scott65 November 16, 2012 at 7:14 pm

But Gov Deal did appoint him to the “digital learning task force”…the guy who wants to define broadband as 200/kbps (basically dial up). Way to go Nathan…you’re just hittin’ ’em outta the park these days

Katherine Helms Cummings November 15, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Does anyone think Agenda 21 is behind these leadership choices?

Scott65 November 16, 2012 at 7:10 pm
The Last Democrat in Georgia November 17, 2012 at 1:19 am

Katherine, Scott65:
State Senator Rogers’ support of anti-Agenda 21 policies alone didn’t have much, if anything, to do with Rogers not having enough support to continue in his leadership role in the State Senate.

Fear of Agenda 21-driven policies, while not necessarily all the way totally mainstream in Republican politics, is not all that uncommon of a belief within the Conservative political circles that dominate the Georgia political scene.

Just Rogers’ support of anti-Agenda 21 policies alone would not have been anywhere near enough to get him booted out of his leadership post in the State Senate, but the failed coup attempt/power play against Lt. Governor Cagle, the motel loan fiasco, the T-SPLOST fiasco, and the allegations that Rogers’ was a gambling tout when combined together was enough to make the Senate think that a definite change of direction for a legislative body that has been increasingly dysfunctional over the past couple of years.

Mark Rountree November 15, 2012 at 10:49 pm

It was clearly time for a change, and it’s fair to say that most Republicans are giving a high five about the change of leadership at the top. The roller coaster of unpaid loans, lawsuits, the senate trust investigation, the lack of transparency on gambling deals and the oddity headlines — most had had enough.

Howard Roark November 16, 2012 at 5:56 am
Scott65 November 16, 2012 at 7:09 pm
Harry November 18, 2012 at 8:23 am

When I post an item from Free Republic it’s “national news” too by golly!

Comments on this entry are closed.