Rep. Mike Cheokas becomes the latest Democrat to turn Republican under Gold Dome



State Rep. Mike Cheokas of Americus announced today that he’s parting ways with the Democrats and will now march with the pachyderms. From House Speaker David Ralston’s office:

“I made this decision in careful consultation with members of my community after being approached by many of them and hearing their thoughts,” said Rep. Cheokas. “As a member of the House since 2004, I have been driven to best represent the needs and interests of my constituents at the State Capitol in Atlanta. My fiscally conservative voting record reflects that effort and the views of my constituents, which ultimately led me to join the House Republican Caucus.”

With today’s announcements, the Georgia House of Representatives now consists of 114 Republicans, 63 Democrats, and one independent. Two seats are currently vacant due to the passing of Rep. Tony Sellier (R-Fort Valley) and the appointment of Rep. Mark Williams (R-Jesup) as Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

“Mike Cheokas is a principled leader who has demonstrated courage in putting the interests of his district ahead of political party,” said House Speaker David Ralston. “He will be a valuable and important member of our team, committed to an agenda that is focused on creating jobs and providing economic opportunities for Georgians.”

House Republicans are now six members shy of the two-thirds majority needed to pass a constitutional amendment or override the governor’s veto.