For The Record

Trump critic Lt. Gov. Duncan says he won’t run for reelection in 2022

By: - May 17, 2021 9:35 pm

Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan announced Monday that he will not seek reelection next year. Georgia Recorder file photo

A high-ranking GOP critic of former President Donald Trump officially announced Monday that he will not seek another term.

Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan’s public announcement Monday makes his decision official and throws open Georgia’s 2022 lieutenant governor’s race.

Duncan has held the role since 2018, when the former professional baseball pitcher upset the establishment party candidate for the seat to go on and win the general election. Before that, the Cumming resident served four years as a state representative and was the driving force behind the state’s rural hospital tax credit program.

But Duncan is best known now for his forceful rejection of Trump’s baseless claims that widespread election fraud denied him a second term in the White House. He became a frequent guest on national news shows, where he touted his vision for a post-Trump party.

He also criticized his party’s efforts to make sweeping changes to Georgia’s election laws this session and left the chamber in protest over a proposal that would have restricted who can cast an absentee ballot.

Multiple district-level GOP groups met this weekend to condemn Duncan and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for not doing enough to block Trump’s loss of Georgia’s 16 electoral votes, according to the Associated Press.

“Lieutenant Governor Duncan’s announcement that he will not seek re-election confirms what we already knew – there is no room for common sense or basic truth in the Georgia GOP,” said Scott Hogan, executive director of the Democratic Party of Georgia.

Duncan said Monday that he plans to finish his term and will stick around for redistricting later this year and next year’s legislative session.

“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,” he said in a statement.

Duncan said he plans to take his call for a reimagined GOP to the national level, launching an organization called GOP 2.0.

“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,” he said. “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 is not without his critics on the left, though.

“(Duncan) had the chance to fight against voter suppression in Georgia, and he hid in his office,” tweeted Fair Fight, which is the voting rights group founded by Stacey Abrams. “As head of the Senate, he owns #SB202. He is no hero just because he kinda-sorta spoke out after he decided to retire. There is no GOP 2.0.”

Two Democrats, Smyrna state Rep. Erick Allen, and Tyrone state Rep. Derrick Jackson, have said they will run for the seat. The GOP field will likely start to take shape now that Duncan has stepped aside. Sen. Butch Miller, for one, is expected to run.

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Jill Nolin
Jill Nolin

Jill Nolin has spent nearly 15 years reporting on state and local government in four states, focusing on policy and political stories and tracking public spending. She has spent the last five years chasing stories in the halls of Georgia’s Gold Dome, earning recognition for her work showing the impact of rising opioid addiction on the state’s rural communities. She is a graduate of Troy University.

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