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Ga. House Republicans nominate Ralston as speaker

ATLANTA -- Reeling from scandal, Georgia House Republicans selected Rep. David Ralston as their nominee for speaker. Ralston had tried to oust Glenn Richardson as speaker last year, questioning his temperament.

Richardson has stepped down after a suicide attempt and allegations by his ex-wife of an affair with a lobbyist.

Ralston's selection was seen as rebuke to Richardson's heavy-handed leadership style and ethics questions that have engulfed the chamber.

The lawyer from Blue Ridge defeated state Rep. Larry O'Neal, a former lawyer for Gov. Sonny Perdue who faced an IRS probe over a tax cut bill he sponsored that benefited the governor.

The full House must vote for the speaker when the Legislature returns Jan. 11. The GOP holds a 105-74 majority in the chamber.