Majority Leader Jerry Keen (R-St. Simons Island) sent a letter to House GOP caucus members, informing them that he is retiring from the Legislature after 10 years.
Keen was the only one of three top House leaders who survived the Glenn Richardson blow-up this winter. Here’s what he wrote:
April 15, 2010
Dear Fellow Caucus Members,
When I was first elected in November of 2000, I joined only 74 fellow Republicans in the Georgia House of Representatives. Today, we are in the majority with a caucus of 105 members. Taking control of this House for the first time in over 130 years was just the beginning.
Since then, we have cracked down on illegal immigration, passed sweeping tort reform, brought transparency to the budget process, protected life by adopting the Woman’s Right to Know bill, lowered taxes for all Georgians, opened our meetings to anyone with an Internet connection, protected our children from sex offenders, and, most importantly, balanced our state’s budget in economic times none of us ever anticipated.
The last 10 years have been quite a journey. During that time I have had the privilege of serving as your minority whip and then as majority leader. Leading our caucus has been and will remain my highest honor. Thank you for allowing me to do so.
Today I spoke to my local rotary so my constituents would know first, and I now want each of you to know that this will be my last term in the House of Representatives. 10 years is a long time of service, and I firmly believe this is the appropriate time for me to move on. While I certainly am sad to see this chapter in my life close, I look forward to starting a new one.
I am proud of everything we have accomplished and will continue to work toward maintaining Republican control in Georgia and preserving the ideals for which we have each sacrificed so much.
Thank you to each of you for your hard work, your support, and especially your friendship.
House Speaker David Ralston adds this:
“I am saddened personally by Jerry Keen’s decision to retire from the House. He is my friend and I will miss his wise counsel. The House of Representatives, the House Republican Caucus and the Republican Party will greatly miss his leadership. His departure will leave a void which will be difficult to fill. I wish him and his wife, Alice, all the best in the future.”
Who replaces him? One name we’ve heard belongs to Earl Ehrhart of Powder Springs, the former House rules chairman.
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