Anne Lewis was a veteran attorney who was the longtime counsel for the Georgia GOP. File photo.

Anne Lewis, 56, was a longtime Georgia GOP attorney

Anne Lewis, a veteran Republican attorney who led the Georgia GOP’s redistricting efforts, has died after a lengthy struggle with cancer. She was 56.

Georgia GOP Chairman John Watson said Lewis died late Sunday.

He praised her “unprecedented level of passion and leadership” as the state party’s longtime attorney.

“Her work as legal counsel was critical to the success of our party,” he said, “and Republicans across our state are devastated by her passing.”

Over decades in the legal community, Lewis built a reputation as a determined attorney who earned respect from both sides of the counsel table. Her law practice at Strickland Brockington Lewis and later at Taylor English specialized in election-related litigation, including redistricting and election contests.

Lewis played a leading role on litigation related to Georgia’s photo ID law and quickly became known as a campaign finance expert, helping countless Republicans navigate tricky rules and regulations that guide the state’s election system.

In that role, then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp tapped her to serve on an advisory council in 2011 that reviewed election laws and recommended changes that were adopted the next year. She was a constant presence on lists of the most influential state Republicans.

“For decades, Anne Lewis used her passion, intellect and legal expertise to serve the Republican Party and advance the conservative movement,” said Kemp, now the governor. “Anne’s resilience — in the courtroom and in her battle against cancer — inspired countless Georgians.”

As the Georgia GOP’s attorney since 2009, she was at the forefront of election-related cases. She also often handled other thorny issues, such as a racial discrimination lawsuit and infighting that captured headlines. Even though her work was partisan, she drew praise from across the aisle.

“Anne Lewis was an amazing attorney who always treated me with respect and kindness,” said state Sen. Jen Jordan, a Democratic lawyer from Atlanta.

Lewis also helped lead the GOP’s efforts in the courtroom over the redrawing of Georgia’s political maps, first to challenge the Democratic-led redistricting process in the early 2000s and later to defend new Republican-drawn maps after the GOP won control of state offices.

Paul Bennecke, a state operative and former head of the Republican Governors Association, fondly recalls working deep into the night with Lewis at polling sites monitoring the vote and mapping out legal strategies for the next election.

“She was a really good lawyer,” he said, “but more importantly, she was a great person.”

The Lewis family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at A.S. Turner & Sons Funeral Home in Decatur. A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Decatur. More information can be found here.

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