State Rep. Ed Rynders shows off the Georgia Bulldogs #1 finger before the beginning of the first day of the 2018 General Assembly in the Georgia House of Representatives in 2018. (Photo by Phil Skinner)
Photo: PHIL SKINNER
Photo: PHIL SKINNER

Georgia House Governmental Affairs Chairman Ed Rynders will resign

State Rep. Ed Rynders, the chairman of the influential House Governmental Affairs Committee, is resigning, according to The Albany Herald.

Rynders, a Republican from Albany who has served in the House since 2003, told the newspaper Thursday that he’s stepping down after suffering a heart attack in June. He said personnel changes at the school where his wife teaches also contributed to the decision to leave office and move to St. Simons Island.

Rynders’ committee oversees election legislation, including a bill this year calling for Georgia to replace its 17-year-old electronic voting system. That measure, House Bill 316, resulted in the state purchasing a $107 million system with touchscreen voting computers that print out paper ballots.

“I don’t ever want to be seen as a quitter. But my health and my family’s future have to be my No. 1 priorities,” Rynders told the Herald. “But going through the voting machine issue during the last session required a lot of heavy lifting on my part, and with redistricting coming up, I knew there was going to be a great deal of pressure once again.”

Rynders didn’t respond to messages seeking comment Thursday.

After he sends a resignation letter to Gov. Brian Kemp, a special election will be scheduled to complete Rynders’ two-year term.

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