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Dudgeon announces bid for third term
Education to remain focus for Republican
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Forsyth County News

District 25 state Rep. Mike Dudgeon announced Tuesday he would seek a third term in the legislature in 2014.

"It has been an honor to serve the citizens of Forsyth County and north Fulton in the legislature since 2011,” he said in a statement. “I am looking forward to using my growing experience with education, business and energy policy to work for our district and the state.”

Dudgeon, a Republican from south Forsyth, chairs the House Education Committee’s Academic Support Subcommittee. He is also a member of the Energy, Utility, and Telecommunications, Small Business and Science and Technology committees.

His voting record during his two terms as a lawmaker has earned Dudgeon high ratings on American Conservative Union, Americans for Prosperity and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s scorecards.

Beyond his voting record, Dudgeon has passed legislation in both education and energy policy and has worked toward tax reform and stopping unnecessary spending.

"In the next session of the General Assembly, I want to work on reducing top down bureaucratic control of the schools from the state, promoting digital learning, and making Georgia's environment the very best for attracting business,” he said.

“Each year of my service I have had a repeal bill of some type, and I also plan to continue that into the future."

Dudgeon’s announcement puts an end to speculation he might seek higher office.

After John Barge announced his Republican gubernatorial bid, Dudgeon weighed whether to run for state school superintendent. He previously served a four-year term on the Forsyth County Board of Education.

In addition to politicians and fellow Republican Party members, a website urged Dudgeon to consider the role. But after “a month of intensive investigation” he decided he was happy with his current job.

“I talked to well over 100 people, I looked at the job, I thought about what it would mean for a campaign, for my life,” he said. “I really love my legislator job. It lets me be half and half — half my time I spend being a legislator and working as a legislator, and the other half I get to be a tech startup guy, which I’ve been for many years, which I love.

“Especially with two boys still at home in high school, I’m not ready to go full time into the political arena. I may never be ready.”

But Dudgeon said education would remain at the forefront of his agenda, if elected to a third two-year term.

“We are at an important point with education policy, which is why I was interested in looking at the superintendent role,” he said. “At this point in having three years under my belt, or two terms, you’re getting just enough seniority where you can make more of a difference, and so I’d like to use that seniority that I’ve earned and the respect that hopefully I’ve earned from my colleagues to help really push some good policy in the next couple of years.”

Dudgeon’s district includes most of south Forsyth east of Ga. 400 and south of Hwy. 20, as well as parts of Johns Creek.

Dudgeon, who is vice president for research at Hi-Rez Studios, lives in south Forsyth with wife Lori and their teenage sons, Matthew and Daniel. His oldest son, Brandon, is a freshman at Dudgeon’s alma mater, Georgia Tech.