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Tuesday, September 15, 2009 - 10:53am

Johnson Resigns Senate Seat

Savannah State Senator Eric Johnson, the GOP's second-ranking member in the State Senate, announced Tuesday that he was giving up his Senate seat in order to focus on his gubernatorial campaign.

Johnson cited consideration for the citizens of the 1st District and a growing momentum in his campaign as factors in his decision.

"Since being elected to the Georgia General Assembly, I always sought to put the interests of my constituents first. After thoughtful and prayerful consideration I have concluded that I could be an effective state senator or an effective candidate for governor, but not both,” said Johnson.

"The time commitment required by either of those roles would have made it hard to give them both the complete attention and maximum effort they deserve."

Gov. Sonny Perdue and Secretary of State Karen Handel now must call for a special election in conjunction with the municipal elections scheduled for November of this year.

Johnson said that by resigning now, the coastal-area counties in the 1st Senate District would not have to incur additional costs to ensure that a new state senator is in place for the next session of the General Assembly.

Pooler State Representative Buddy Carter has said that he would be interested in running for Johnson's seat.