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Georgia Political Papers and Oral History Program

The Georgia Political Papers and Oral History Program is comprised of over 3,000 linear feet of archival collections, along with an extensive number of oral history interviews, that document the unique political culture of the state of Georgia.

Larry Walker

Larry Walker (1942-) was elected to the state legislature from Perry, Georgia, as a Democrat in 1972 and represented his middle Georgia district until his retirement in 2005. He served as floor leader for Gov. Harris 1983-1986 and as majority leader from 1986-2002. In 2008, Walker was elected vice chairman of the Georgia State Transportation Board.; Interviewed by Dr. Mel Steely on August 5, 2004 at the House Chamber at the Georgia State Capitol.; Walker begins by speaking of his family history and his youth in Houston County, Georgia, especially noting his family's participation in the Methodist Church and the Republican Party. He speaks of his schooling and having grown up during a time of segregation, and speaks of his extracurricular activities. He attended the University of Georgia to study law and became city attorney and municipal judge in Perry, Georgia by his early twenties. In 1972, Walker ran for Sam Nunn's former seat in the House of Representative and was elected to the office. He speaks of his campaign, the issues that arose while running and then of his time as freshman. He discusses several of the politicians that he worked alongside and assesses governors and other leaders he had worked with, especially Tom Murphy. Looking backing at over thirty years in the legislation Walker contends that public education is one of the areas with which he has been most concerned, going on to speak of economic issues and the Georgia state flag. He then discusses becoming majority leader, revealing what the position entailed, and goes on to talk about the transition that was occurring within the Democratic Party while he was in office and the rise of the Republican Party. Walker reveals his connection to Governor Perdue and speaks about the race between Roy Barnes and Perdue. Many transitions occurred in Georgia politics in 2002; Walker discusses these changes and his role in it. He reminisces over his time in office and discusses whatever regrets he may have had, he projects into the future and assesses where he stands on his involvement in politics. He closes on discussing the future of the Democratic Party.