Long-time Georgia House member, 77, dies of prolonged illness


Georgia mourns a longtime lawmaker who was re-elected last year even though illness had sidelined him since 2019.

Representative Mickey Stephens, a Savannah Democrat born as Edward Stephens, was 77 years old.

“Mickey was a dedicated public servant and staunch supporter of the Savannah community,” Gov. Brian Kemp tweeted.

“The passing of Mickey Stephens robs us of one of Georgia’s strongest leaders,” Speaker of the House David Ralston said in a statement released Saturday night to Savannah Morning News and WTOC-TV.

“A man of quiet strength, Mickey was a mainstay of Georgia House and he was my dear friend,” said Ralston, a Republican from Blue Ridge.

The Morning News reported that Stephens was first elected in 2002. After a single two-year term, he returned to House District 165 in 2009 and held the seat until his death on Saturday.

Stephens has served on the House of Commons Health and Social Services Committee, Insurance Committee, Legislative and Congressional Redistribution Committee, Regulated Industries Committee, and Ways and Means Committee.

Stephens, who was hospitalized for three months in 2019, had not passed a law since the 2018 session, the Morning News reported.

Although confined to his home in recent years, he encountered no opposition in November and obtained 63% of the vote.

He is survived by his wife, daughter and son.

Stephens was also a teacher and coach, Savannah Mayor Van Johnson said on Twitter.

State Representative El-Mahdi Holly of Stockbridge called Stephens “one of my coolest uncles in the State House.”

“That cat … he would crack me up with heartbreaking jokes or talk about our love for cowboy boots, history and the problem-solving locals,” tweeted Holly, a Democrat who took his duties for the first time in 2019.

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