On Nov. 14 at the State Capitol in Atlanta, the Republican Caucus nominated Rep. Jon Burns (R-Newington) to serve as the next Speaker of the State House of Representatives. If elected by the full House at the beginning of the 2023 Legislative Session, Burns will succeed Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge), who announced that he is stepping down after 13 years in the role due to health challenges.
- A strong champion for forestry, Burns has served as Majority Leader since 2015. He is a long-time GFA landowner member and friend of working forests in Georgia. His son, Jon Guerry Burns also serves as President of Georgia Exports Company, one of the largest Southern Yellow Pine log exporters in the nation based in Springfield, Georgia.
- GFA President & CEO Andres Villegas said: “Georgia is a changing state, and it is critical that our business and political leaders understand the importance of our state’s working forests and the benefits they provide to our environment and economy. We are thankful for Rep. Burns leadership and we look forward to working with him in the next legislative session.”
Rep. Jan Jones ran unopposed as nominee for Speaker Pro Tem, the chamber’s second highest ranking member. In addition, the following representatives were elected to serve in Republican leadership roles:
- Rep. Chuck Efstration (R-Dacula) as Majority Leader;
- Rep. James Burchett (R-Waycross) as Majority Whip;
- Rep. Bruce Williamson (R-Monroe) as Caucus Chairman;
- Rep. Houston Gaines (R-Athens) as Caucus Vice Chairman; and,
- Rep. Ginny Ehrhart (R-Marietta) as Caucus Secretary.
Read more from the Atlanta Journal Constitution: Republicans pick Rep. Jon Burns as speaker of the Georgia House.