Speaker pro tem Mark Burkhalter (R-Johns Creek) did indeed attend today’s meeting of the House Republican caucus.
The leader of chamber arrived and left via a route that allowed him to remain unseen by members of the press. We’re told that he said little, except to confirm that he would not run for re-election to his current post.
Burkhalter announced Monday that he would not run for speaker, throwing the leadership of the chamber open to all comers.
State Rep. Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody) said it was Burkhalter’s Friday announcement – his first official statement that he would be removing himself completely from leadership — that caused him to push for a Thursday, Dec. 17, election of House officers – rather than next Tuesday.
Millar quickly followed up with this e-mail to House members, declaring that he would join the race for speaker pro tem. State Reps. Jan Jones of Alpharetta, Rich Golick of Smyrna and Clay Cox of Lilburn have already announced.
Now that Mark has officially indicated that he does not plan to continue in the captioned role and based on what I heard in today’s caucus meeting, I have decided to seek the position of Speaker Pro Tem.
I am encouraged by the quality of the people seeking the Office of Speaker. Most of them have been good friends for a number of years. Based upon my conversations with them and other caucus members, I believe I am a good choice for the captioned position. I plan to offer specific points on my credentials in a separate memorandum.
Today I respectfully request that you consider several points as respects all the positions which are subject to election.
First, I believe all candidates need to be evaluated based on their specific actions not on campaign rhetoric.
Second, all candidates must be subject to increased scrutiny based on what has transpired. Due diligence is necessary by members and that is why I concur and will follow the position of several other candidates and not seek voting commitments prior to the election.
Finally, while we elect individuals to positions, I believe it is imperative that they have strengths that compliment one another. What I took from today’s caucus meeting is that our members are looking for servant leaders as we move forward and I am prepared to function in that capacity.
Jerry Keen can confirm that I have turned down potential committee chairmanships because I did not feel called to undertake the particular job.
I do want this position and if you honor me with the privilege I pledge that I will never seek the role of Speaker. I feel the position of Speaker Pro Tem will be where I can best utilize my talents on behalf of the caucus.
Thank you for your consideration and I will be in touch as respects my credentials.
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