Bob Trammell replaces Stacey Abrams as House minority leader

Something of an upset occurred at the state Capitol on Monday afternoon, with the election of state Rep. Bob Trammell of Luthersville as House minority leader, replacing Stacey Abrams of Atlanta – who’s running for governor.

Trammell won on the second round, beating state Rep. Carolyn Hugley of Columbus and Winfred Dukes of Albany. Dukes was ousted on the first round, gaining only nine votes.

In the second round, Trammell received 32 votes to 24 for Hugley.

Trammell had been vice-chairman of the Democratic caucus, but has only been serving since January 2015. Hugley is a 24-year veteran, and was nominated by state Rep. Calvin Smyre, also of Columbus, who is the dean of the House.

But Hugley, the minority whip, was also close to Abrams – so the vote also might be termed something of a backlash to Abrams, who had served as minority leader since 2011, but had resigned as of June 30 in deference to her gubernatorial campaign.

In that sense, the day is an interesting set of bookends in the race for governor. Early this morning, the Abrams campaign broke the news that she had won the endorsement of U.S. Rep. John Lewis.

Trammell is a 1996 graduate of the University of Georgia, with a law degree from the University of Virginia. Outside the caucus, he’s probably best known for speeches in opposition to campus-carry legislation.

From an address last session:

"While we recognize and protect the Second Amendment, it is incumbent upon us as legislators to also preserve the safety of Georgians by facilitating smart public policy, " said state Rep. Bob Trammell, D-Luthersville. "This bill carves out exceptions for child care centers and in sporting events. Why do we carve out exceptions at all? Every member of the Legislature who works under the Gold Dome—where weapons are not permitted -- already acknowledges that there are places where guns do not belong."

About the Author

Jim Galloway
Jim Galloway
Jim Galloway is a three-decade veteran of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution who writes the Political Insider blog and column.