Alumni Profile: Willie Lee Talton

GA’s first black Republican legislator since Reconstruction

May. 9, 2018

Elected in 2005 to represent Warner Robins in the Georgia House of Representatives, Alumnus Willie Lee Talton was the first African-American Republican elected to the Georgia legislature since Reconstruction. He served as chairman of the Special Rules Committee, vice-chairman of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee, secretary of the Juvenile Justice Committee, and as a member of the Banking, Education, Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment, and Ways and Means Committees. He also served as Deputy Majority Whip.

Talton was first African-American police officer in the city of Warner Robins in 1965 and became the first African-American police chief in the city of Centerville. He also served in the Houston County’s Sheriff Department for 33 years, including 28 years as the first black Chief Deputy Sheriff.

He graduated from Fort Valley State University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

Watch: Oral history interview with Willie Talton here.

Fort Valley State University