Geoff Duncan needs the support of voters across the state to become Georgia’s next lieutenant governor, but it appears he already has strong support in Forsyth County.
Duncan, A Republican who represents east and northeast Forsyth as the District 26 state representative and who recently announced his candidacy for lieutenant governor, spoke to members of the Forsyth County Republican Party on Thursday about his campaign and the issues he is facing.
“I’m not the next guy in line. There are others down there that are higher on the ranks, who have spent more decades down there than I have,” he said. “I’m doing it because I believe I can truly make a difference. I truly believe I can impact the state as the next lieutenant governor.”
Duncan received a standing ovation from the local party and answered questions from the crowd, including why he chose to run for the seat.
“The answer to that is: I love policy,” he said. “As lieutenant governor, I get to stay home every night, raise my kids, coach their teams. I get to be involved in the policy here in Georgia. As lieutenant governor, you run the Senate. I want to create the golden standard at the Senate.
“I want everybody in this state to realize that if you’re going to bring a piece of policy through the Georgia Capitol, it’s going to have to pass through the Senate, and we’re going to vet it out.”
Among the policies he supported as state Representative was a law to help financially struggling rural hospitals by allowing those who donate to receive an income tax credit. At the meeting, Duncan said multiple times he wanted to tackle old problems with new solutions.
“What I got to see firsthand was if you empower folks in the community, groups in the community to go take care of the issues around poverty, it’s amazing what you can do and not have to rely on a government program,” he said. “We have 54 rural hospitals that every single day may not reopen.”
Other Republican candidates for the lieutenant governor so far are District 17 state Sen. Rick Jeffares of McDonough, District 48 state Sen. David Shafer of Duluth, who serves as senate president pro temp. Duncan said one of his opponents’ criticisms did not have its desired effect.
“One of my opponents is running around the state telling folks that I vote no too often, that I’m too conservative to be the next lieutenant governor of Georgia,” Duncan said. “Y’all help me figure out if this is OK. I’m thinking about just sending him a thank you note.”
Duncan and other members of the party also had a lot to say about the reception of Forsyth County Republicans at the recent Georgia Republican Convention in Augusta, which featured addresses by Duncan, District 27 state Sen. Michael Williams, who represents the majority of Forsyth County and is running for governor, and Carolyn Hall Fisher, the former head of the county party who was selected as first vice chair of the state party.
“Forsyth County is on the map,” Duncan said. “After that convention, everybody in the state of Georgia knows where Forsyth County is.”