First elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1996,
Republican Rep. Robert "Bobby" Franklin represented the 43rd District and lived in Northeast Cobb.
Franklin served as a member of the Banks and Banking, Information and Audits, Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment, and Judiciary (Non-Civil) committees. He previously served on the Natural Resources and Environment and Special Judiciary committees.
According to close family friend Jenny Hodges, who considers Franklin a brother, he seriously considered his oath of office and never knowingly acted in violation of that oath in upholding the U.S. Constitution and the Georgia Constitution. He read both yearly, from cover to cover, and kept a copy of both close at hand for constant and regular instruction.
"His legislative legacy is astounding in that it completely addresses the gross expansions of civil government on a national, state and local level. He worked tirelessly to bring civil government back into compliance with organic law by assessing current Georgia code, then drafting and introducing legislation that remedied the lawlessness of civil government," Hodges told Northeast Cobb Patch in an email Wednesday.
Franklin never shied away from introducing headline-making legislation. For many consecutive legislative sessions he introduced which would define abortion as murder. It would not make miscarriage a crime unless it was determined the cause of miscarriage was unnatural.
"It would completely sidestep the distracting and irrelevant Roe v. Wade in a brilliant, legal and logical fashion," Hodges said.
Franklin's public comments always seemed to cause public outrage. In a February interview with the Marietta Daily Journal, he opined on abortion, gays in the military and the importance of verifying that a president is born in the United States.
He objected to President Obama’s allowance of homosexuals to serve in the military and referred to their “unrepentant criminal behavior.”
“The Bible says it’s a capital offense,” Franklin said of homosexuality and adulterers.
When a tornado devastated the residents of Ringgold in late April, Franklin tweeted that he "is saddened to watch my fellow Georgians pray to their god, FEMA, to save them." The comment caused public outrage.
"Rep. Franklin does not believe that the nature of freedom and liberty can co-exist with a view that gives to the civil government absolute power, authority and responsibility in the lives of the people, even in times of trouble, as in the recent tornadoes," Hodges wrote in a May 9 email regarding Franklin's Twitter comment.
Hodges said that Franklin believed that individuals, not the government, should aid and assist one another.
"He was probably one of the most misunderstood Georgia politicians. His hate mail came from all over the country. But for the few of us who loved and understood him, he was really wonderful and a man of
integrity," she said.
A graduate of Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Franklin had a degree in both biblical studies and business administration.
Franklin Tuesday of a suspected heart attack. He had been divorced for some time. He is survived by three adult children and a granddaughter.
Gov. Nathan Deal has 10 days from Tuesday to announce the date of a special election, reports the Marietta Daily Journal. One possible date is Sept. 20, set in state law as a date cities and counties may hold special elections. Regardless the chosen date, the process will then be turned over to the Secretary of State’s Office.