University System Board of Regents members Sachin Shailendra (a former chairman) and Rachel Little left the 19-member panel on Friday after being told by Gov. Brian Kemp that new redistricting maps show they now don’t live in the congressional districts for which they were appointed.

Little was drawn into the 7th district where Regent Jose Perez already serves. Regent Cade Joiner now represents the new 4th Congressional District, and Regent Neil Pruitt will move to an at-large seat on the panel that oversees Georgia’s 26 taxpayer-supported colleges and universities.

Kemp also announced his appointment of businessman Tom Bradbury to represent the 11th Congressional District. Bradbury, who resides in Vinings, is founder and chairman of Smith Douglas Homes. Kemp also plans to appoint a new Regent to represent the 13th Congressional District (Shailendra’s old seat).

The governor said in a statement that “Sachin and Rachel have both been exceptional leaders in our state and on the Board of Regents. Their contributions have had a meaningful impact, and I am grateful for all they have done to make our university system better, our workforce pipeline stronger, and to help us maintain Georgia’s ranking as the No. 1 state for business. Given their exemplary service on the Board, I look forward to working with them in different leadership capacities in the future.”

With new Regents being appointed by the governor, and with Regent Harold Reynolds assuming the board chairmanship, it appears former Gov. Sonny Perdue could ultimately be named to the vacant University System chancellorship. The governor wanted Perdue named last summer but at that time the votes weren’t there among Regents members. Insiders say an interview process for the chancellor position will continue, but that— for now— the former governor could garner a majority Regents vote.

And here’s a big question: How will the Regents’ realignment affect Sonny Perdue’s cousin, former U.S. Sen. David Perdue, in his primary challenge against Kemp in the May GOP gubernatorial primary? Insiders say that question that may be answered sooner rather than later.


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