It’s been a long two months for the Republican candidates for lieutenant governor, but the finish line is in sight.
On Tuesday, Republican voters will decide between state Sen. David Shafer and former state Rep. Geoff Duncan for the next lieutenant governor, the second highest elected official in the state.
The two last faced off in the May 22 primary for the seat, where Shafer earned 48.9 percent of the vote to Duncan’s 26.6 percent. The third-place candidate in the race, Rick Jeffares, who earned 24.5 percent of the total, has since endorsed Shafer.
The winner will face off with Democrat Sarah Riggs Amico in the Nov. 6 general election.
Who he is: Shafer is a longtime figure in conservative politics in Georgia and has served as the Senate's president pro tem.
Since 2002, he has served as state Senator for District 48, which is made up of portions of Fulton and Gwinnett counties.
He serves as a member of the state Senate’s appropriations, banking and financial institutions, finance, government oversight, health and human services, insurance and labor, reapportionment and redistricting, regulated industries and utilities and rules committees.
Shafer grew up in DeKalb County and is a graduate of the University of Georgia. He has lived in Gwinnett since his graduation.
What he said: At a recent campaign cookout hosted by the Forsyth County Republican Party, Shafer touted his conservative endorsements.
“I am running for lieutenant governor of Georgia, I have been endorsed by the American Conservative Union, by Georgia Right to Life, by the Family Policy Alliance, by the National Rifle Association, by Georgia Carry ... because I have fought for the conservative values that we have,” Shafer said.
Where he stands: Per his website, Shafer is against wasteful government spending and in favor of eliminating the state income tax and supports a fair tax.
For education, he said he wants to cut bureaucracy of schools and move funds to “the local school systems where they can make a real difference.”
Shafer supports stronger penalties for those who commit crimes against children and the elderly and opposes government benefits for illegal immigrants.
Who he is: From 2012 to 2017, Duncan represented state House District 26, made up of eastern and northern Forsyth, before stepping down to focus on lieutenant gubernatorial race.
In his term, Duncan supported legislation enacting more harsh penalties for cargo theft, a bill increasing the amount of money Georgia residents who donate to rural hospitals can get back in tax credits and Michael’s Law, which sets age limits for bars and their employees and was named for South Forsyth High School graduate Michael Gatto, who was beaten to death at a bar during his freshman year at Georgia State University.
Duncan is a graduate of Chattahoochee High School and attended Georgia Tech, where he was a scholarship pitcher and member of the school’s 1994 College World Series. After his junior season, he was drafted into the then-Florida Marlins organization, where he played for six years and reached the AAA level.
What he said: Duncan has been outspoken about going against what he calls “backroom, petty politics.”
“I’m running for lieutenant governor because I decided I either want to be in charge or go home,” Duncan said at the cookout. “I didn’t just want to fall in line and do things I needed to do to be the chairman of a committee, or to find a way into leadership. I want to be a part of changing the process.”
Where he stands: Duncan has said he opposes “federal and state overreach in the classroom,” reducing big government and favors having churches, charities, corporations and citizens as the front line of defense against challenges in our state, not another government program.