Updated at 8:09 p.m.:
We caught up with state Rep. John Lunsford of McDonough on Tuesday as he was taking his kids out for pizza and a trip to the library.
Lunsford, you’ll recall, is the Republican who on Friday – at that three-hour House Republican caucus meeting — held out a petition by which his colleagues could sweep their leadership clean.
The two House leadership positions – speaker and speaker pro tem – had already been declared vacant. Lunsford’s petition was a vehicle by which House Majority Jerry Keen of St. Simons Island could have been forced to run for re-election as well.
Rumors swirled today, saying that dozens of House Republicans had signed on. That may or may not be true. “Nobody’s seen it, because I’ve had it with me every since I left that room,” said Lunsford, a candidate for majority whip.
But the lawmaker also says he won’t bother to add up the names. Because he has no intention of submitting the petition on Thursday, when the GOP caucus gathers again.
Lunsford said the point of his petition was to force House Republicans to stop back-stabbing each other and confront each other in the open.
That done, he said, there’s no need for it.
“I will say this much.” Lunsford said. “I wanted to cry when I saw how many friends I really had. I didn’t know I had that many friends. That give you a clue? I had many more friends than I ever envisioned I had. But I won’t tell you the number. Nor will I be releasing it Thursday.”
So unless a second petition springs up, it looks like House Majority Leader Jerry Keen is safe.
FYI: Peach Pundit is theorizing that state Rep. Mike Jacobs (R-Atlanta) will offer a substitute petition to the same point. We shall see what we shall see.
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