Speaker David Ralston lies in state at the Georgia Capitol

Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 12:37 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2022 at 1:24 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Georgians continue to mourn the loss of a beloved and influential Georgia political leader.

Late Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston now lies in state at the state Capitol. His casket arrived Tuesday morning ahead of a special ceremony and funeral.

Members of the General Assembly on both sides of the aisle were all in attendance along with other colleagues, family, and friends. They hugged and caught up but when the hearse pulled up to the Capitol, the crowd went silent as they carried the casket into the Capitol Rotunda.

Democrat Mary Margaret Oliver said Ralston was always loyal, respectful, and professional. The two championed a bipartisan effort to overhaul the state’s mental health system last year.

“He always wanted to serve Georgia families and he knew coming from fanning county the mental health crises affects all parties,” said Oliver.

You’ll see handshakes and hugs in the crowd, but there are also several teary-eyed members of the General Assembly....

Posted by Abby Kousouris on Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Speaker Ralston’s legacy will be remembered for his level-headedness and his humor says new speaker-elect, Burt Jones.

The line to pay respects wrapped all the way around the building Tuesday morning, but people didn’t seem to mind the wait.

Leading 180 people in the house, there were times when the speaker had to temper legislation. Former House member and Pastor Len Walker said he often spoke with Ralston about his faith. He said his beliefs would guide him in his work and home life.

“He was unique, he was one of a kind. I treasure his memory,” said Rev. Walker.

The Rotunda will be open Tuesday until 7 p.m. for people who want to pay their respects. They’ll open back up to the public Wednesday from 7 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.

Watch our live stream of Tuesday’s memorial service:

WATCH LIVE: Late Georgia House Speaker David Ralston lies in state

WATCH LIVE: Late Georgia House Speaker David Ralston lies in state.

Posted by Atlanta News First on Tuesday, November 22, 2022