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Top Story No. 2: Casey Cagle inaugurated
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On Jan. 8, 2007, Lowell S. "Casey" Cagle, a seventh-generation Hall Countian, became the 11th lieutenant governor of Georgia.

In the 2006 election, Cagle, a relative unknown outside his native North Georgia, handily defeated former Christian Coalition director Ralph Reed, who was nationally known for his work on conservative causes.

Cagle, the first Republican to hold the lieutenant governor's post, ended eight years of partisan strife in the Georgia State Senate, where he is the presiding officer.

He succeeded Mark Taylor, who ruled with an iron hand in his first four years as lieutenant governor, but was politically crippled by the Republican takeover of the State Senate in 2003.

Cagle, who has earned high marks in his first year, appointed selected Democrats to committee chairmanships and has allowed legislation sponsored by the minority party to make its way to the Senate floor.

Cagle was successful in his first year in gaining passage of a bill which allows public school systems to apply for charter system status, allowing the use of innovative educational ideas and exempting them from some state mandates.

Cagle will begin the 2008 session with proposals for improvements in the state's health care system.

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