Sen. John Bulloch, sponsor of Sunday sales bill, resigns

Updated at 3:30 p.m.: Just when Georgia Republicans were on a track to obtain a super-majority in the Senate when the Legislature gathers in January, the possibility that it could slip away has just reared its head.

State Sen. John Bulloch, R-Ochlocknee, has resigned, we’re told. We have not been told why, but Charlie Harper over at reminds me that Bulloch was hospitalized for meningitis in October.

Bulloch will be remembered as the major, persistent force behind one of the greatest cultural shifts of the last several decades. The rural legislator was the chief sponsor of legislation to permit communities to decide whether or not to permit beer, wine and liquor on Sunday. The law largely went into effect this year.

Bulloch is also one of the most popular members of the chamber, and was often a working partner with the shrinking Democratic caucus on issues such as immigration. But Bulloch also lives in south central Georgia, an area that offers some possibility of a pick-up for Democrats.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp just announced that a special election to fill Bulloch’s Senate District 11 seat will be held on Jan. 8, the same date as the special election to replace Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

37 comments Add your comment

Georgia Voter

December 6th, 2012
11:29 am

This is interesting. I hope the Dems have a viable candidate to run.


December 6th, 2012
11:44 am

Either way, the General Assembly is losing a significant agricultural policy braintrust in Bulloch’s resignation. Let’s hope THAT can be replaced.


December 6th, 2012
11:45 am

A pick-up for democrats??? They did not even have a cndidate to run in the democratic primary & now all of sudden it is a possible pick-up???

Good Luck with that logic.

Fulton Observer

December 6th, 2012
11:49 am

Seat probably isn’t changing parties. But to echo “Self_Made” – the state is losing a great senator and one of agriculture’s biggest champions. Wish John Bulloch all the best.

Taxi Smith

December 6th, 2012
11:54 am

What’s the difference between a Georgia Democrat and a Georgia Republican? I’ll wait for the answer.

Smoke and Mirrors

December 6th, 2012
11:59 am

Wow.. the Republicans did not see this one coming…a few years ago the redraw the maps to ensure they would keep themselves in power..

???Strange when the Dems did it the Repubs sued…and won…

For so many years the Repubs talked about Term limits …now that they are in the majority…you don’t hear them talk about term limits anymore…intersting…….

Smoke and Mirrors

December 6th, 2012
12:07 pm

@Taxi Smith


1. No immigration controls
2. Will lean more toward helping the less fortunate
3. Are more liberal
4. Are more likely to support women and minorities
5. Make less than REPUBs (as a whole).


1. Want immigration controls
2. Will lean toward assisting the rich and big business issues
3. Are more conservative
4. Tend to have less empathy toward women and minority issues
5. Have higher incomes the DEMS (as whole).


Smoke and Mirrors

December 6th, 2012
12:12 pm

@Taxi Smith…

You see the very least…this is the preception..and locally (in this state anyway) this works for Repubs because of the demographics and the Southern conservative culture…

But as you saw in this past election…the Repubs are going to have to expand their base if they want to win a NATIONAL election…

But I don’t see them abandoning their conservative views or including those they view as less superior than we will have to wait and see how this plays out.

America is changing (some argue for the worse) but for better or worse – we are changing….

nathan's political arsonist

December 6th, 2012
12:24 pm

wow, banner week for ga political credibility, it goes up with each resignation. please let balfour be next

Smoke and Mirrors

December 6th, 2012
12:25 pm

The U.S. economy was a huge issue for the Repbus to take back the White House but the problem was:

1. They sat on their hands for 4 years (they did not want to work with the President because they wanted to ensure he would be a one term President) and most of the Amreican public saw through this game.
2. They wanted him to fail.
3. Now they are trying to figure out…how can we “appear” like we want to work with the President but we really don’t

Thus, here comes the smoke and mirrors game.

The Repubs…should give the President what he wants then if it does not work —they can blame him….

But the scary part is…his ideas just might work….and we can’t have that now can we?


December 6th, 2012
12:44 pm

Just another repub biting the dust, sore looser… good riddance.

Wanted a morel up standing ,honest Democrat to fill his position

Jim can the AJC make this Meebo bar any more annoying…It stinks. needs to go..its spyware.

Buckhead Boy

December 6th, 2012
12:47 pm

Two good men gone from the Senate, Hooks and Bulloch, and one bad, Rogers. Hopefully, Balfour will soon provide the balance.

Auntie Christ

December 6th, 2012
1:09 pm

Taxi Smith
December 6th, 2012
11:54 am
What’s the difference between a Georgia Democrat and a Georgia Republican? I’ll wait for the answer.
There is a lot of difference as Smoke and Mirrors pointed out, but the major difference between the two is that the democrat see the glass as half full, whereas the republican thinks that higher mathematics like fractions are lies from the pit of hell.

Auntie Christ

December 6th, 2012
1:18 pm

Why don’t we just designate the first Tuesday of every month as election day, since these reps seem to decide to resign almost as quickly as they are elected, forcing the state and counties to spend for special elections. He!! if I terminate my cell phone commitment before the time agreed to, I have to pay something like $300. These jerks blithely dismiss their commitments at will, leaving us to pick up the cost of their whimsy. But good luck getting the same politicos to enact any penalties for not living up to the commitments they have made to the voters.


December 6th, 2012
1:33 pm

Regardless of party, this is a real loss for the Assembly. Seems there are increasingly few statesmen like Senator Bulloch left. He should be thanked for his service to this state and to his community.


December 6th, 2012
1:41 pm

I hope he does well but democrats, do not miss this opportunity. Primarys waste time and money, Which democrat has best chance? Register voters, tell them what DEAL/Republicans are doing to them, show vote, speeches,bills they support, get to know your votes really well before Reed, American crossroads/rove, American Prosperity/Koch bros, freedom works and more wealthy supported super pacs will be there running half-truths against democrat candidate. Don’t let them brainwash you about social issues, vote your pocketbook, you have to eat. Have church suppers, hot dog get togethers, maybe register your voters get together. Pep[le power, Remember Allen West got defeated in Republican district, West/his wealthy buddies spent 17.5 million to democrat 3.5 million[may have got a little outside help, do not know.]


December 6th, 2012
1:43 pm

John Bulloch leaving is a loss to the Senate no matter what party you are in. A real straight shooter and true gentleman.


December 6th, 2012
1:57 pm

The difference between a GA Democrat and a GA Republican? These days, the answer is as clear as black and white.


December 6th, 2012
2:09 pm

Repub. Sen. DeMint , SC just resigned to take a job at conservative think tank Hertitage for 1 million dollars, a lot more than about 200,000 he makes with pay/benefits in senate. Heritage foundation[non-profit]. gets tax free donations from Koch Bros/others. They tell Republicans what bills to write, even pushed war. Sen. Chambliss, I think I would look for job at CATO , American Enterprise or Hertiage instead of putting up with bankers/ voters/Norquist threats/you are in middle. I am a democrat and I did not like how you treated sen. Cleland and I hope democrat have a good candidate to go against you or someone else. There is state wide people power out there if democrats keep working every day registering voters.

Danny O

December 6th, 2012
2:31 pm

Don’t forget that it was Senator Bulloch who sponsored the Sunday sales referendum bill. Thank you Senator Bulloch, for giving us the right to decide in our own communities if we wish to purchase alcohol on Sundays. I hope you make (or have made)a full recovery from your illness.

Senate leadership: please don’t let Senator Heath chair the Ag Committee.


December 6th, 2012
2:48 pm

The counties in that district voted 60-40 for Romney over Obama. While a couple of counties are split between this and other districts, there also would not be a Presidential election to drive Democratic turnout. Ideas of the Democrats picking up this seat are probably pure fantasy.


December 6th, 2012
2:50 pm

has anyone run a check on the NECC and the meningitis problem? Alot of clinincs,hospitals,etc recieved hundreds of viles of mold contaminated meds. This could be very serious.Hope he gets well soon.


December 6th, 2012
4:49 pm

All these resignations and not a Don Balfour in the bunch. Dammit!


December 6th, 2012
5:13 pm

Can I add Shady Deal to the list of hopefuls to resign.

South GA Food Taxer

December 6th, 2012
6:32 pm

Bulloch comes from extreme SW Georgia. His district touches the FL and AL borders. He’s popular with his colleagues because most of them are like me. I had to campaign and vote against Sunday sales, but I’m sure glad it passed!


December 6th, 2012
9:29 pm

No difference.They are both from different branches of the main party.


December 6th, 2012
11:54 pm

I too would like to thank Sen. Bulloch for introducing the Sunday sales bill. As a result, Georgia is no longer one of three states that prohibit the sale of alcohol on Sunday. Indiana and Connecticut are the only two left.


December 7th, 2012
8:54 am

I find it amazing that there are Democrats on this blog that actually read.


December 7th, 2012
9:13 am

Republicans need not worry. Both seats are safe….

Bryan Tolar

December 7th, 2012
9:36 am

Senator Bulloch is an amazing leader for agriculture and for all of Georgia. He was the right man for the Senate, House and his home of Thomas County for 34 years. Many call him a friend, and I am very proud he is my friend. Chairman Bulloch is a full-time farmer (pecans, cotton and corn) and can now add full-time grandfather to his resume. Georgia was fortunate to have his leadership and the benefits to our state will shine for many, many years to come. Thank you for your service John Bulloch and I look forward to seeing you and the grandkids on your farm in the near future.


December 7th, 2012
10:41 am

Ga politics are a joke!!!!

Wiregrass Dawg

December 7th, 2012
10:43 am

I’d echo much of what Bryan Tolar says above. Senator Bulloch was a fine legislator, with a lot of common sense, which isn’t so common under the Gold Dome. He’ll be missed.

Would be a big surprise if the seat flipped to the Dems. I’d put it at about 5% chance. I’ve no knowledge of this, but would not be surprised if someone is ready in the wings to make that run.


December 7th, 2012
10:52 am

Don’t know the district but I bet he didn’nt have opposition because he was well liked (according to some in this blog). Now any republican running won’t have the incumbent thing to help so the dems do have a chance! Just depends on who runs and turnout.


December 7th, 2012
10:58 am

John stood up for what he believed in. Although he knew that local option for Sunday Sales would probably never pass (or even get voted on) in his Senate district, he believed people had the right to vote. I am hoping he will make a full recovery and move on with the rest of his life. You WILL be missed.


December 7th, 2012
11:07 am

If the R’s run more than 1 candidate they could lose unless they make a runoff!


December 7th, 2012
11:58 am

The less Republicans, the better.

Silent Jay

December 7th, 2012
3:16 pm

He’s leaving to spend more time with Chip Rogers family.