“Bob is a good man,” Beverly said. “I know at times people say, ‘You and Bob have a great relationship,’ That’s because it was forged in fire. We didn’t always see eye to eye on things, but it was always respectful. I couldn’t have a better friend.”
Beverly is taking over the House party leadership after it fell far short of its goal to flip at least 16 seats in last week’s election in its attempt to take back control of the House for the first time in 15 years. Instead, Democrats gained only two seats.
He will also lead the party’s battle for a say in the drawing of new district lines for legislative and congressional seats in 2021, when Republicans will try to add seats and cement in place incumbents who had close calls last week.
Georgia lawmakers draw their own districts — essentially choosing their voters — in a process that occurs every 10 years following a U.S. census. New voting maps are drawn to reapportion the state’s growing population.
Beverly said he’s spent the summer "working with the National Democratic Redistricting Committee to figure out how we could create fair maps for Democrats across the state in order to protect our members and expand our base,” he said.
When nominating Beverly as leader, state Rep. Karla Drenner of Avondale Estates said his strong character will get him through the process.
“For those of you that have gone through a redistricting process, it will be the biggest challenge that your character will face as a legislator,” she said.
House Republicans on Monday renominated Speaker David Ralston of Blue Ridge and Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones of Milton for another term, which will be finalized by the House in January. Minority leaders are sometimes put up against majority nominees for speaker for a vote on the first day of the session, but the majority party — in this case Republicans — always win the vote.