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POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Cox takes over human relations committee

With Rep. Len Walker's appointment to head the House Higher Education Committee, another Gwinnettian has been chosen to replace him as the chairman of the House Human Relations and Aging Committee.

Rep. Clay Cox, R-Lilburn, was chosen for the task by House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge.

"I am very excited about the opportunity to lead this important committee," Cox said. "Georgia's aging population and their right to retire and age with dignity is a critical issue for our state."

The Human Relations and Aging Committee reviews legislation that affects the elderly, disabled and those suffering from addiction. The previous chairman was Walker, R-Loganville.

"Rep. Cox has demonstrated a sound conservative approach as a member of the House," said Speaker David Ralston. "As chairman, I know he will give all bills before his committee a fair hearing with an ear for good public policy."

Local pastor leads state Senate in prayer

A pastor of a Lawrenceville church recently served as chaplain of the day at the Georgia state Senate.

The Rev. Lanre Omonaiye, associate pastor of World Outreach Church for all Nations, led the seantors in prayer on Jan. 26.

"The tradition of the Senate to begin each day with a devotional and prayer allows us to set our mind and heart in the right direction as we make important policy decisions," Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle said in a press release. "As we face daunting challenges as well this session, I'm confident that the Senate will answer the call to serve. ... Rev. Omonaiye's message encouraged senators and inspired each of us to lead our state in the right direction."

Omonaiye was ordained in Nigeria. He came to the United Stated in 2001 and became a citizen in 2006.

"Rev. Omonaiye has been a huge asset to the African community in our district both as a minister of the Lord and as a community leader," said Sen. Curt Thompson, D-Tucker. "He has helped new immigrants from Africa adjust and assimilate to life in Gwinnett."

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.