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Geoff Duncan set to become first-ever Georgia lieutenant governor from Forsyth County
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Republican lieutenant governor Geoff Duncan waves to supporters after voting on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, at the Windermere precinct. - photo by Bradley Wiseman

With 99 percent of the precincts reporting, it appears for the first time ever the next lieutenant governor of Georgia calls Forsyth County home.

Republican Geoff Duncan defeated Democrat Sarah Riggs Amico by 52.2 percent of the vote, or about 1.95 million votes, to Amico’s 47.8 percent, or 1.85 million votes, to become lieutenant governor-elect of Georgia. Locally, Duncan earned 70.6 percent, or 65,798 votes, of Forsyth County votes.

“Our entire family is so excited,” Duncan said. “We’ve put two years’ worth of effort into this and just continue to understand that right from the get-go, we were such an underdog, and to be able to get to this point is so exciting for us. Now, the great part about this is now we go get to do what we said we were going to do and we get to champion conservative principles and it's just an honor for us to do that.”

In a tight race, Duncan said he was glad to see the shift once Forsyth County’s votes dropped early Wednesday morning and that he was “sure glad to see them come to our rescue” while in Athens with gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp. 

“When we were sitting in our respective war rooms and Athens, the entire state of Georgia felt the weight of Forsyth County when their votes came in late that evening, and it absolutely changed the trajectory of statewide races because of how many rock-solid conservatives showed up to vote for myself and Brian Kemp,” Duncan said.

He also credited the county with lifting him this year’s Republican primary and runoff and said he wants to bring Forsyth County values to the entire state.

“To think of how well we educate our kids in this county has really helped shape the way I think about education on a state-wide perspective and things that I think we can enact state-wide,” Duncan said. 

“From an economic development standpoint, we obviously are in the midst of an incredible growth period here in Forsyth County and we're harnessing high-paying, quality jobs, and the value of that is something I think we can take and share with the rest of the state from a planning perspective.”

From now until the legislative session begins on Jan. 14, Duncan said he will be preparing policy points and working to build relationships with state senators on both sides of the aisle. 

Duncan formerly represented Forsyth County as state representative for District 26, which is comprised of east and north Forsyth, in the Georgia House of Representatives from 2013 to 2017, when he stepped down to run for the lieutenant governor seat.

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 Southern University.

It’s already been a busy year for Duncan on the campaign trail, starting with the Republican primary in May, where he earned 26.6 percent of the vote, compared to opponents’ David Shafer, who received 48.9 percent of the vote, and Rick Jeffares, 24.5 percent.

Since no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote, Duncan and Shafer faced off in a runoff in July, which Duncan won by 50.15 percent to 49.85 percent, including carrying 66.3 percent, or 11,233 votes, of Forsyth County.

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.

Amico, a Cobb County resident who serves as chairperson of car haul company Jack Cooper, is a graduate of Washington and Lee University and earned an MBA from Harvard University.