It was a day House Speaker David Ralston probably won’t soon forget.
On Monday morning, the Senate bent to the House’s will and approved a measure that Ralston championed, ending a yearlong standoff between the chambers that frustrated lawmakers on both sides of the Gold Dome.
On Monday evening, the Blue Ridge Republican was honored with an award in honor of former U.S. Sen. Zell Miller, praised as a respected and fair-minded leader by lawmakers from both sides of the aisle.
It was an emotional cap to a long fight over a House measure to update Georgia’s outdated adoption rules, a seemingly non-contentious idea that grew controversial when a dose of “religious liberty” was injected into it.
At the end of a long day, Ralston seemed touched by the award, which was bestowed by the Miller Institute Foundation in honor of the former governor and senator who, like Ralston, hails from the mountains of north Georgia.
Ralston confessed he never once voted for the Democrat – and had to be “taken to the woodshed” to back Miller’s legislation when he was lieutenant governor – but that he developed a deep respect for Miller that crossed the partisan gulf.
“I may have gotten to the dance a little late,” Ralston said of Miller, “but I’m proud to be a part of your legacy.”