Republicans shine in light of victory - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Republicans shine in light of victory

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November 2, 2004

Albany - Georgia voters made history Tuesday. For the first time since Reconstruction, the Georgia House and Senate are in the control of Republicans, and both U.S. Senators from Georgia are Republican.

You can call it a Republican sweep at the state capital. The GOP, which already captured the governorship and state Senate two years ago, seized control of the House of Representatives. "I saw it coming, but it was just a matter of time before if got here," said Republican Party member Gary Smith.

Gary Smith says party divisiveness will no longer hold up state business. "We'll have an opportunity to run with the agenda that we've put forward. That's an agenda to secure the HOPE scholarship and be fiscally conservative," said Smith.

Re-elected State Representative Ed Rynders says the newly drawn voting districts helped his party. "For the first time since Reconstruction, we are running in districts that the Democrats didn't draw. The courts drew these districts," said Rep. Rynders.

On the nation level, the red kept flowing with the election of Johnny Isakson to U.S. Senate. Isakson will join Moultrie Republican Saxby Chambliss in the GOP controlled Senate. But, Isakson says he doesn't see red and blue. "I don't have litmus test," he said. 'My interest is the best interest of the people of the United States of America, and that's what I'll always hold."

So after generations of Democratic control, Smith explains the big reason for this Republican success in Georgia. "I think the Republican party, especially on a national level, better reflects the moral and fiscal values of citizens in the state of Georgia," said Smith. Now, republicans must prove to those citizens the party deserved to come out on top in 2004.

Before Tuesday, there were 102 Democrats, 75 Republicans, and 1 independent in the State House. Now, there are 95 Republicans and 85 Democrats.

In the State Senate, there were 30 Republicans and 26 Democrats. Now, there are 34 Republicans and 22 Democrats.

Posted at 5:10PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com