Jon Burns nominated to take over as Georgia’s next Speaker of the House

ATLANTA — Channel 2 Action News was there Monday as Georgia House Republicans nominated their new majority leader.

State Rep. Jon Burns is now set to take over as Georgia’s Speaker of the House in January.

He replaces David Ralston who’s stepping down.

Burns, of Effingham County, will probably take over the speaker’s seat in January.

Just 10 days ago, Ralston surprised everyone by stepping down for health reasons.

This is important because, other than the governor, the speaker and lieutenant governor are the most powerful people in Georgia.

We don’t know how many House Republicans voted for Burns because it was a secret vote, but Burns fended off state Rep. Barry Fleming’s challenge to win the nomination.

“To serve as Speaker of the House would be both a great honor and a tremendous responsibility,” Burns said.

Ralston is leaving Burns with a solid but shrinking majority in the Georgia House, and a party that is itself divided among the more pro-business establishment wing and a more Conservative wing.


Burns will have to work to keep them all pulling in the same direction.

“As for what is ahead, I look forward to conversations with fellow House members, members between now and the start of our session,” Burns said.

In a statement, Gov. Brian Kemp said:

“I look forward to continuing to work with him to ensure Georgia remains the best state to live, work and raise a family.”

As for his plans, Burns is keeping mum -- at least until he gets approved by the entire House on Jan. 9.

“I will hold off on taking questions today while it may be a formality, I do not want to put the cart before the horse,” Burns said.

Burns will still have to be elected by the full House.

House Democrats will put up their own candidate, but given that the Republicans have a majority and control the House, the vote is just a formality.