James magazine will name Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed “Georgians of the Year” for 2014. The magazine, which is heavily concentrated on politics and government in Georgia, names three legislators as “Legislators of the Year.” They are Representative Terry England, Senator Jack Hill and Senator Judson Hill.

James chose Ralston for his strong guiding hand in passing an ethics bill in 2013 and keeping the House of Representatives on a steady and swift course in 2014. Speaker Ralston reminds James more and more of the late Speaker Tom Murphy, whose legislative skills and broad understanding of Georgia and its potential is just now being fully appreciated by pundits and historians. And Ralston has kept true to his conservative Republican roots while remaining a leader who can work with all parties.

In selecting Reed, James picks a leader who has proved to be capable of dealing with adversity while also remaining a team player with other state leaders. Mayor Reed brings a sophistication and broad level of appeal to all Georgians that makes him a natural pick for 2014. Reed, a Democrat, not only represents his party well, but his city as well.

Two of James’ “Legislators of the Year” are natural picks for a legislative session dominated by the need to negotiate and pass a state budget on a tight schedule — also ironically reminiscent of the Murphy years.

Chairmen Terry England and Jack Hill have both have shown a businesslike and effective style of leadership in dealing with the complexities of the appropriations process.

James also named Cobb Sen. Judson Hill to its list of “Legislators of the Year.”  Hill has remained a stalwart conservative, proving that he has not wavered from his days of serving on Ronald Reagan’s advance team. And as Chair of the Finance Committee, illustrating his increasing level of seniority among the Senate’s majority party, Hill has become a “go-to” fixture in that chamber.

This year’s James “Most Influential Georgians” edition will go deeper than before into the world of leadership in the state. It won’t just be a “list” of names, but instead a roadmap into the state’s corridors of power. Unlike any prior “Most Influential” issue, this James may well become Georgia’s “Blue Book” on who wields power and influence in our state.

Publisher’s Note: The James “Most Influential Georgians” edition is well underway. However, James welcomes input from its readers. To add a name that you believe is worthy of mention in the edition send your suggestions to: Phickey@insideradvantage.com . All suggestions will be considered by James and all communications will be confidential. Please send suggestions no later than February 27.

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