District 26 state Rep. Geoff Duncan announced he is resigning from his current seat to put his focus on his 2018 run for lieutenant governor.
Duncan, whose district contains Lake Lanier and northeast Forsyth, announced he would be stepping down effective Sept. 18 “if not earlier” in a letter to Gov. Nathan Deal, which was sent in a news release Monday morning. He said he was hopeful the time-frame would give voters a chance to elect a new representative ahead of next year’s legislative session.
“This will give the governor plenty of time to schedule a special election so that the people of Forsyth County’s 26th House district are represented in the upcoming legislative session,” he said in the release.
Previously, Duncan said he planned to serve the remainder of his term, which ends at the end of 2018, but said in the letter that running for lieutenant governor seat is a full-time job and called the decision to resign “a difficult one.”
“The 2018 election will be the most important election in Georgia’s history, and running for [lieutenant governor] is a full-time job,” he said. “It’s imperative that, as a state, we take a step forward and not a step back.”
Barbara Luth, the county’s supervisor of voter registrations and elections, said on Monday she hopes to hold the election on Nov. 7, the same day as three regular city of Cumming elections and one special election for Forsyth County. She said the addition of this race means all but three of the county’s precincts will have someone on the ballot.
State rules designate Deal must call the race.
Whoever wins the election will serve the remainder of Duncan’s term and will be up for re-election next year.
Duncan, who announced his campaign for ascension to higher office in April, had already chosen not to seek re-election, as candidates are only allowed to run for one office at a time under state law.
In Georgia, the lieutenant governor is president of the state Senate and next in line if the governor leaves office before the term ends. Unlike the vice president and lieutenant governors of other states, Georgia’s position is not elected with the governor.
The winner will replace Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who is running of governor.
In his statement, Duncan also took aim at fellow Republican candidate for the seat, District 45 state Sen. David Shafer. Duncan said Shafer’s pay-to-play “political charade will soon be coming to an end.”
“Let me be clear,” Duncan said. “I’ve never taken a single penny in return for a political favor. I’ve never profited personally off of public service or political office. I’ve never lobbied, much less lobbied without registering. I’ve never made money by fixing my clients’ problems with state agencies, specifically the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance.
“And, finally, former Democratic Governor Roy Barnes isn’t helping me raise money for my [lieutenant governor’s] race.”