In February 2012, the Forsyth County News reported that political newcomer Geoff Duncan would seek his first term in office as a candidate for District 26 state Representative, a race he went on to win.
Just under seven years later, Duncan will step into his new role as Georgia’s 12th lieutenant governor on Monday and will preside over the state Senate for the first time on Tuesday after defeating Democrat Sarah Riggs Amico in November’s general election.
Duncan is the first Forsyth County resident to be elected to the seat and said he appreciates the support he has received from the county in the election and over the years as a legislator.
“I am grateful for Forsyth County and all of the support they gave myself and my family throughout this entire process and I just want everybody in this community to know that I'm looking forward to going to work every single day to represent our conservative values in this community,” Duncan said.
He said being from Forsyth County was “one of the shiniest parts of [his] resume” when campaigning across the state due to the successes of the community.
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.
He represented District 26 from 2013 to 2017, when he stepped down to run for the lieutenant governor seat.
Since the election in November, Duncan said he has been getting prepared for both the policy and procedure of his new role, including what he referred to as “spring training.”
“I actually approached the secretary of the Senate a couple of months ago after the election and said, ‘Hey, I'd really like to set up a training program that allows me to really understand the role of being the presiding officer,’” Duncan said. “Secretary David Cook has just been an amazing resource for me and my entire team and we've actually had, I believe that we just completed earlier in the week, our fifth training day in the Senate chamber. The staff of the secretary of the Senate’s office has played the role of senators. We've gone through mock debates and procedural votes.”
Duncan said he doesn’t see a single piece of policy dominating the legislature this year, but did expect education, health care and transportation to be handled.
However, during his term, he does have a vision of what the state can become.
“I want Georgia to be recognized as the technology capital of the East Coast,” Duncan said. “That's going to take time. We're headed in a great direction, but it's going to take time to take on. I don't want to just talk about being the technology capital of the East Coast. I want to be recognized and earn the title because so many things are going right. If that's the case, that means we're educating our kids to a 21st-century standard. That means we’re training a workforce to a 21st-century standard, and it means we’re continuing to cultivate a business-friendly environment.”
Duncan, a father of three, said he also has the challenge of balancing being a parent and elected official but said, like in his previous office he plans to keep nights and weekends free for his family. He said that meant lots of early mornings for him but he was ready for it.
“My first job description is a father and a husband, and I take those roles extremely seriously,” Duncan said. “The neatest part about this entire two-year campaign, probably the most memorable part to me is how Brooke and the three boys, all of us worked together to accomplish this goal. Every single minute of every single day for the last two years, they were helping us pull this off, helping me along the way and cheer me up and give me support and making phone calls.”
This session will also make the first year a new lieutenant governor and governor take office in a new year since 1999. Duncan, who campaigned heavily with Gov.-elect Brian Kemp, said he not only has a great working relationship with Kemp but so do their families.
“I often joke, when you go on vacation with another family, you get to know them really well, and the Kemps and the Duncans went on vacation together. It was on an RV going around the state for a bunch of days, but our families have gotten close,” Duncan said. “I'm excited to go to work for somebody who is just such a hard worker and has such a great vision for Georgia.”