Forsyth County’s Geoff Duncan has announced he will not seek a second term as Georgia’s lieutenant governor and will instead be focusing his efforts on building a new organization aimed at conservative causes called “GOP 2.0.”
“Today, I am announcing that I will not be seeking reelection for a second term as lieutenant governor,” Duncan said in an announcement on Monday. “It is truly an honor to serve as lt. governor and I have no intention of slowing down on my policy over politics platform. The people of Georgia elected me to serve four years and I will give them nothing less.
“I look forward to working with the Senate during the upcoming Redistricting special session this fall and the 2022 legislative session starting in January. Our office will continue to go to work each and every day looking for ways to positively affect the lives of all 11 million Georgians.”
In recent months, Duncan, who as lieutenant governor presides over the state Senate, has butted heads with Republican Party leadership, particularly over claims from former President Donald Trump that results of the 2020 presidential election were fraudulent.
In a tweet on his former Twitter account in December, Trump called Duncan “a RINO Never Trumper who got himself elected as LG by falsely claiming to be ‘pro-Trump.’ Too dumb or corrupt to recognize massive evidence of fraud in GA & should be replaced! We need every great Georgian to call him out!”
In April, when Major League Baseball Officials announced the decision to move the league’s All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver, citing Georgia’s recently approved election law in SB 202, Duncan said he was “extremely disappointed” with the decision but “the fallout from the post-election misinformation campaign led by former President Donald Trump continues to manifest itself and divide our nation.”
“It always feels coldest right before the sun rises,” Duncan said in the statement. “I believe that is the exact moment in time the Republican Party is caught in right now, and I am committed to being a part of creating those better days ahead for our conservative party all across this country.
“The national events of the last six months have deeply affected my family in ways I would have never imagined when I first asked for their support to run for Lieutenant Governor in 2017. Through all of the highs and lows of the last six months, they have never left my side and are once again united behind me in my pursuit of a better way forward for our conservative party – a GOP 2.0.”
Duncan, a Forsyth County resident and the first lieutenant governor to call the county home, represented 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.
As lieutenant governor, health care, addressing issues in the foster care system and making Georgia the technology capital of the East Coast have been among the projects Duncan has focused on.
Moving forward, he will focus on GOP 2.0, which he said is meant to improve the Republican Party in the wake of the Trump presidency.
“In the coming months, I will begin transitioning a majority of my political energy toward helping to build out an organization called GOP 2.0 on a national level,” Duncan said. “This organization will focus on healing and rebuilding a Republican Party that is damaged but not destroyed through a strategy called P.E.T. Project. GOP 2.0 will work hard every day reminding Americans the value of conservative Policies through genuine Empathy and a respectful Tone. This effort will no doubt be challenging but well worth it because both this country and this Party deserve better."
Duncan beat out then-state. Sen. David Shafer, who is now chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, 50.15 percent to 49.85 percent in the seat’s Republican primary in 2018 before Democratic candidate 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 in that year’s general election.
Before Duncan’s announcement, Democratic state Reps. Erick Allen, of Smyrna, and Derrick Jackson, of Tyrone, and Republican Jeanne Sever, who previously ran for Georgia’s 12th Congressional District have already announced they will run for the seat in 2020, though it is likely new challengers will appear for both parties since candidates will not be facing an incumbent.