Geoff Duncan will not seek reelection

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May 17—ATLANTA — Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan announced Monday he will not seek reelection in 2022.

Duncan, who was elected to Georgia's number two position in 2018, became an outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump following the 2022 election and condemned Georgia Republicans who perpetuated Trump's false claims that the election was stolen.

Instead, Duncan said he will focus his time toward cultivating a new faction of the party through a movement he calls "GOP 2.0" that focuses on building back the Republican party in a post-Trump era.

"Today, I am announcing that I will not be seeking reelection for a second term as lieutenant governor," he said in a statement. "It is truly an honor to serve as lieutenant governor and I have no intention of slowing down on my policy over politics platform."

Statement from Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan on decision to not seek re-election in 2022. #gapol pic.twitter.com/VRkqd7P0P2

— Geoff Duncan (@GeoffDuncanGA) May 17, 2021

The Republican will still oversee the General Assembly's special session for redistricting this fall and the 2022 legislative session. After the remaining time in his position, Duncan said he plans to transition his political energy helping build "GOP 2.0" at a national level.

Duncan drove wedges between himself and far-right members of Georgia's GOP by becoming a frequent guest on national news outlets to condemn Trump's attempts to overturn the election. He pushed back against members of his own caucus in the Senate by refusing to preside over the chamber when it took up the omnibus and controversial election bill that eventually passed and was signed into law.

"It always feels coldest right before the sun rises. 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," Duncan said in his announcement. "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."

Duncan would have had a challenging reelection campaign after his defiance of Trump and Trump loyalists in Georgia. His announcement paves the way for top Republicans to begin announcing their candidacies.

Republican Jeanne Seaver of Savannah, a business owner and longtime GOP activist, previously announced she would challenge Duncan.

Multiple Democrats have already announced their intention to vie for the seat including two state representatives: Tyrone Rep. Derrick Jackson and Smyrna Rep. Erick Allen.