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Ralston to continue as Georgia House Speaker

Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, calls the House to order to start the 2012 session of the Georgia General Assembly  on the floor of the House at the Capitol in Atlanta, Monday, Jan 9, 2012. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, calls the House to order to start the 2012 session of the Georgia General Assembly on the floor of the House at the Capitol in Atlanta, Monday, Jan 9, 2012. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATLANTA — The newly elected Democratic and Republican caucuses of the Georgia House of Representatives have chosen their leaders for the next two years.

The only significant change for either group was Democrats choosing Virgil Fludd of Tyrone as caucus chairman over current chairman Brian Thomas of Lilburn.

That means Democrats' top leadership team is now entirely African-American, while the Republican team remains all white. Democrats re-elected Minority Leader Stacey Abrams of Atlanta and Minority Whip Carolyn Hugley of Columbus.

As expected, Republicans re-nominated David Ralston of Blue Ridge for another term as speaker and re-elected Larry O'Neal as majority leader. Ralston will be elected when the entire body convenes.

Republican Caucus Chairwoman Donna Sheldon of Dacula withstood a challenge from Delvis Dutton, a tea party conservative from Glennville.