Georgia House has moment of silence for former Chairman Tom Buck

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The Georgia House of Representatives held a moment of silence during Tuesday’s second day of the session for former representative Tom Buck.

Buck died on Jan. 2 at the age of 81.

A Columbus attorney, Buck served 38 years in the Georgia General Assembly. Buck was a Democrat who left the Georgia House in 2004 as Republicans were seizing control of the state.

Rep. Richard Smith, a Republican who won the seat Buck vacated, called for the moment of silence. Smith was flanked by the Columbus delegation — Democrats Calvin Smyre, Carolyn Hugley, and Debbie Buckner as well as Republican Vance Smith. All four of those lawmakers served with Buck.

Buck led the House Higher Education, Ways and Means, and Appropriations committees during his tenure in the General Assembly. He was one of the most influential lawmakers in Atlanta.

“On Jan. 2, Georgia lost a statesman of the likes we may never see again — and that’s a quote from someone who knew him well,” Richard Smith told the House.

Smith said the moment of silence was an appropriate way to honor Buck.

“Tom Buck was a giant while he was here in this house. A lot of things that happened in Columbus and happened statewide had Tom Buck’s fingerprints all over it.”

Smyre said it was fitting.

“I think it’s very important that we recognize the life and service of Tom Buck,” Smyre said.

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