Fort Valley lawmaker hospitalized

State Rep. Tony Sellier, R-Fort Valley, is back in the hospital due to complications from surgery he had this fall.

Lawmakers paused for a moment of silence and prayer Wednesday, after Speaker of the House Glenn Richardson reported that Sellier had been placed on a ventilator.

A retired businessman, Sellier is in the second year of his first term in office. He was recently elevated to secretary of the Defense and Veterans’ Affairs committee, replacing Rep. Alan Freeman, R-Macon, who moved up to vice chairman.

“I’m obviously really concerned about him,” Freeman said. “He’s been a joy to work with. Even though he’s been very sick over the summer, he’s been very involved with constituent service.”

Freeman said Sellier’s lung surgery had made it difficult for him to swallow, and the hospitalization was intended to help Sellier get sufficient nutrition. Sellier had been treated in the past for cancer, and had non-cancerous tumors removed from his lungs in September.

The son of an oil company worker, Sellier was born in the West Indies and grew up in Venezuela. He moved to the United States at age 15, and became a citizen in 1973. He worked for more than 20 years as a finance executive for Blue Bird Corp., the Fort Valley-based school bus manufacturer.