Second Big Change Coming to Who Influences Georgia’s Future Transportation Plans

 

A high-ranking member of the Georgia State Senate will vice chair the state’s Senate Transportation Committee, which recently lost State Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta) as chairman after he questioned alleged irregularities in the state’s November 2020 elections.

State Senate Majority Whip Steve Gooch will vice chair the State Senate Transportation Committee. This, according to a press release that members of the Georgia General Assembly published Tuesday. The press release went on to say that Gooch will expand beyond his usual duties as majority whip to serve on other State Senate committees.

Beach, on Monday, said the following to The Georgia Star News:

“The Lieutenant Governor (Geoff Duncan) can take away my chairmanship, but what he can’t take away is my 20 years of transportation experience, my transportation knowledge and my transportation relationships that I have had for over 20 years,” Beach said.

“I will continue to work hard for the citizens of the 21st District and the state of Georgia. I don’t need a title to do that, period.”

The Star News emailed Gooch and asked if he was stepping in as Transportation Committee vice chair to compensate for losing Beach.

Gooch, however, did not return requests for comment before Tuesday’s stated deadline.

State Sen. Frank Ginn (R-Danielsville) now chairs the State Senate Transportation Committee, according to the Georgia General Assembly’s website.

According to the press release, Gooch will also vice chair the State Senate Appropriations Committee and serve on the Ethics, Finance, Reapportionment and Redistricting, and Regulated Industries and Utilities committees.

Gooch said in the press release that “his session will be unlike any other that we have experienced and will require careful, responsible leadership, particularly when it comes to our state budget.”

As reported, Beach and other state legislators previously helped introduce a petition for a special session. The petition sought to determine Georgia’s electors for the November 2020 presidential election.

That petition also sought to investigate alleged voting irregularities and claims of voter fraud that occurred during the general election. The effort also aimed to nullify the consent decree that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger signed into law last March.

As reported Sunday, Republican officials at the Georgia State Capitol now want to require photo ID for absentee ballots in the state. Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) has formed a Special Committee on Election Integrity. 

On Monday Beach said recent events prove that he acted properly.

“I do feel vindicated that they are looking at this because that is all we are asking for, to ask questions and look to investigate irregularities,” Beach said.

“We were listening to our constituents. I think they are listening to their constituents, and hopefully we will get some meaningful legislation done. I got my chairmanship stripped but I still think I did the right thing.”

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Background Photo “Georgia Capitol” by Autiger. CC BY-SA 2.0.

 

 

 

 

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