MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — Condolences are pouring in from political leaders from across the state following the death Tuesday morning of former state Rep. Rusty Kidd at a Macon hospital.
The former state lawmaker passed away at Coliseum Hospital, friends said. Kidd had been hospitalized for undisclosed medical reasons for several days.
The unexpected death of Kidd led to condolences coming in from Gov. Brian Kemp; Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan; and House Speaker David Ralston.
The local political delegation of state Sen. Burt Jones (R-Jackson) and state Rep. Rick Williams (R-Milledgeville) expressed their condolences.
“It doesn’t matter how you prepare for death, no one is ever ready for it,” said Rep. Williams. “I’m brokenhearted to hear this news.”
The friendship between Kidd and Williams goes back many years. After Kidd decided not to seek re-election to another term to the Georgia House of Representatives, he visited with Williams and asked him to run for the 145th District seat. The district includes Milledgeville and Baldwin County and the southern portion of Putnam County.
“A friend of mine called me this morning to let me know about the death of Rusty,” Williams told The Union-Recorder in a telephone interview.
Williams said he had received condolences from the governor, lieutenant governor and House speaker, and lobbyists who worked with him and knew him for many years at the state capitol.
Asked what he thought Kidd’s legacy was, Williams quickly replied.
“He was a true servant of the people,” Williams said. “And he was committed to the great people of the state of Georgia.”
Williams said Kidd truly loved Milledgeville and Baldwin County and its people.
“I remember Sen. Culver Kidd, Rusty’s father, introducing me to his son in his office back in the 1980’s,” Williams recalled. “We became very close during the last several years. I’m just brokenhearted.”
Sen. Burt Jones, meanwhile, said he thought a lot of Kidd, who never wavered from his political stance of being an Independent state lawmaker.
He, too, was asked what he thought the legacy of Rusty Kidd was going to be.
“The Kidd name and legacy in and of itself cut a wide path in Georgia politics for many years,” Jones said. “His father, Culver, was well-known in these parts for all the good things that he did for his community. Coming from that linage, Rusty, I think had the same servant’s heart as his father.”
Jones said Rusty Kidd always tried to do what he thought was in the best interest of his constituents.
“From a personal standpoint after I first got elected, Rusty was more a mentor and advisor-type person to me as a young, inexperienced fellow like myself at the time,” Jones said.
Kidd’s death was certainly shocking to many people because he was such an influential person in state politics, as well as in his community.
“I’m sorry to hear about his death,” Jones said. “Rusty and I spent many hours together discussing many different topics. When it was finished, it was always pretty clear where Rusty was on issues. It was also pretty clear that his love for Milledgeville and Baldwin County ran deep.”
Baldwin County Commission Chairman Henry R. Craig said he was deeply saddened by the news.
“The passing of Rusty Kidd is a great loss to our entire community and to me, personally,” Craig said in an email. “He was extremely generous to our community with his time and his resources.”
Craig said Kidd loved Milledgeville and wanted to be involved in so many ways.
“He was available to anyone who walked through his door,” Craig said. “He helped countless people with his counsel, influence, and resources.”
Craig said Rusty Kidd would be missed.
“All who knew him will not forget his generosity and wonderful greeting every time we visited his office,” Craig said. “I miss him already.”