Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan says he will not seek re-election

Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan said Monday he will not seek a second term. 

The Georgia Republican said he's turning his focus to shaping the future of the GOP.

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

Duncan said national events affected his family in ways he couldn't imagine. Georgia was in the national spotlight during runoffs for both Georgia Senate seats, controversial reform of election law in Georgia and the rollout of vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic

RELATED: Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan says he will not run for U.S. Senate in 2022

"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," he wrote. 

Duncan said he is committed to finishing his term and looking forward to the special session this fall and the 2022 legislative session starting in January.

Elected in 2018, Duncan became one of the first and most prominent Republicans in Georgia to break with former President Donald Trump and the state Republican Party by pushing back on Trump’s baseless claims about election fraud in a series of interviews on national television. Duncan said misinformation spread by Trump would hurt Republicans’ chances in two U.S. Senate runoffs held in January, which Democrats went on to sweep, giving them control of the chamber.

On the day of the Captial Riots, January 6, Ducan called for unanimous support of the Electoral College votes in the U.S. House and Senate.

Duncan has also broken with other Republicans over changes to Georgia’s election laws that sprang from Trump’s false claims. 

The law adds restrictions to mail voting, strips the secretary of state from being chair of the state election board and gives the GOP-controlled board the ability to remove and replace local election officials, among many other provisions.

In early March, Duncan refused to preside over a state Senate debate on a GOP-backed proposal that would have severely limited who can vote absentee by mail, instead watching it on a TV in his office. The provision was not included in the final version of the bill that became law.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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