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Forsyth legislator may seek higher state office
Duncan

NORTH FORSYTH -- A state lawmaker representing Forsyth County has begun to be rumored for higher state office in 2018.

District 26 state Rep. Geoff Duncan said on Friday he “continued to receive encouragement from around the state to look at a potential statewide run.”

“Folks in the business community, folks in the rural area, I think have liked the way I’ve tried to answer some of the problems that we’ve faced through some of the legislation that I’ve written,” Duncan said. “That’s what we’re doing; we’re just looking at it.”

Duncan was first elected to the seat, which covers a large portion of east and northeast Forsyth, in 2012 and recently won an uncontested third term in the Nov. 8 general election. He said he believes one reason for the support is his viewpoint toward what many residents go through.

“I also think it’s the perspective I’m bringing,” he said. “The perspective I have of someone who is in the private sector, has a successful business and raising three kids, I think I have good visibility into the everyday life that Georgians face.”

In his previous term, Duncan sponsored legislation leading to Michael’s law, a bill named for slain Georgia Southern University student and Lambert High School graduate Michael Gatto who was beaten to death by an underage, off-duty bouncer at a Statesboro bar just months after he began college.

The law defines what a bar is and prohibits those under 21 from working as a bouncer at or attending a bar in Georgia, unless there is a musical or other live performance with a charged admission.

Duncan also conceived a law going into effect Jan. 1 that allows taxpayers who donate to financially struggling rural hospitals to receive an income tax credit — with a goal to incentivize residents to help keep these health care centers running.

“The rural healthcare bill was a bill that is potentially going to save our rural healthcare program here in Georgia, but it’s not growing the size of government, it’s not increasing spending,” Duncan said.

Though he and his family are still in the early stages of making a decision for a statewide race, he is already working toward next year’s legislation session, where he plans to address the title ad valorem tax, or TVAT, a tax based on the value of vehicles.

“I’ve got a busy session planned,” Duncan said. “I’m tackling the TVAT Reform Act. I think we’ve got an opportunity during session with the TVAT bill to positively affect over 10 million Georgians who are registering their cars and having to pay that TVAT bill. “

Duncan said any decision will need to consider what is best for his family and will take further consideration.

“My wife and I are just going to continue the process to make a decision,” he said. “We have a young family and we’re just going to continue to talk to folks that we trust for some good advice, continue to pray about it and we’ll see.”