Josh McKoon: ‘I have decided not to stand as a candidate for re-election’

Late last year, state Sen. Josh McKoon of Columbus, by a vote of his own caucus, was deprived of his leadership position as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

He had become, as we wrote at the time, an inconvenient man because of his non-stop push for ‘religious liberty’ legislation, ethics and tougher immigration restrictions. He had become a persona non gratis on the House side – meaning that any bill with his name on it was doomed in that chamber.

And so McKoon announced Monday that he would not seek a fifth two-year term in 2018 – specifically leaving open the possibility of a statewide run for office next year. His prepared remarks:

Good morning. I wanted to take this opportunity to express my thanks to the people of the 29th District for placing your trust in me in four consecutive elections to represent you in Atlanta. I have enjoyed the privilege of serving you and look forward to the work ahead over the next two years. I also would like to thank God for the opportunity to serve such a wonderful district.

 

Given the nature of our terms of service, it is necessary to make a decision soon after an election as to whether you will run again. I have come to a decision about the next election and that is my purpose in speaking to you today.  After a great deal of thought and prayer, I have decided not to stand as a candidate for reelection to the state Senate in 2018.

 

I feel it is important to make this announcement now for several reasons.  An early announcement gives time to potential candidates to weigh their decision and make the necessary preparation to mount a campaign.  We need to make sure our district continues to be represented by a well-qualified person who continues the tradition of being a strong, independent conservative voice and giving this notice helps ensure that. Also, I want to be honest with the voters as I always have. As most of you know, from the time I started with ethics reform, I have fought for open and transparent decision making for our citizens. By announcing now, I avoid even the appearance of attempting to time this announcement to advantage any particular potential candidate.

 

I came to this decision for a few reasons. 

 

First, I believe in the wisdom of a citizen legislature, and that means recognizing that my tenure here should be measured in years, not decades.

 

Secondly, taking on tough issues such as ethics reform, immigration reform and religious liberty has made my time here worthwhile, but it has come at a cost. As someone that came here to fight for the citizens I represent, not special interests, I have accumulated many enemies. As Winston Churchill once said, “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

 

Third, my experience with my opponents has not deterred my will to fight but instead have opened my eyes to new ways in which I might serve my fellow citizens.

 

So what’s next?  Jacqueline and I will be prayerfully considering how best to continue to serve others. Whether that means a future in politics or some other path remains to be seen. What is clear is the amazing work that has been done here at the Capitol by grassroots advocates and citizens who want to change their government for the better. I thank you all.

 

In closing, let me say how humbling it has been to be elected and reelected as your senator.

 

Every senator defines success differently. Some define success by the leadership positions they hold. Others by what they bring to their district.‎ Others by the number of their bills signed into law.
My service has always been about ideas. Some of my ideas have caused discomfort. I‎ make no apologies for any of my ideas or the role I have played in forcing them to be considered and discussed. But I do want to thank the entire body, particularly our leadership, for their patience with me.   I salute the lieutenant governor for the private encouragement and support he has given me.   And the majority leader for the role he played in helping me understanding the nature of politics. And the president pro tem who has demonstrated fairness and humor in the most difficult of circumstances. Most of all I would like to once again thank the voters of the 29th District for giving me the honor of serving you.

 

May God Bless the Georgia Senate and God Bless America.

 


Reader Comments 0

48 comments
Leon Jackson
Leon Jackson

Bye josh. Take the rest of the nuts with you.

Mike Sims
Mike Sims

Wants to be governor. The Chamber of Commerce won't support. Lots of others will. The "Lots of Others" greatly outnumber the Chamber folks in Georgia. Excellent opportunity. Too much so not to roll the dice for this headline seeker.

J.r. Rich-Bellerose
J.r. Rich-Bellerose

Thank God this religious nut job can fade away. I just hope people don't put another in his place.

Jeri Henson Dies
Jeri Henson Dies

I'm thinking Joshie may have one of those "wide stand" problems. Hmmmm

Patricia Baker Charles
Patricia Baker Charles

That is the best thing that could happen in Ga. Politics! We don't need troublemakers who divide the people!

Fleming Patterson
Fleming Patterson

There is a GOD! Best news of the day! \U0001f44d\U0001f44d\U0001f44d\U0001f44d\U0001f44d\U0001f44d\U0001f44d\U0001f44d\U0001f44d\U0001f44d

Ian Davis
Ian Davis

I applaud his decision and look forward to never hearing from him again.

Amanda Ruf
Amanda Ruf

What's he about to be busted for?

Bonnie Martin
Bonnie Martin

Nothing. He's just pouting because he was shown how little power he has, little chance of getting anything passed.

Ria Austin
Ria Austin

He is aiming for something else!

Vance Croft
Vance Croft

Maybe now he will come out of the closet!

Christopher Lee Raley
Christopher Lee Raley

JRM will continue to do great things. I support him whatever direction God leads him.

Josh Hedgepeth
Josh Hedgepeth

Great, this is the guy who tried to push the religious freedom bill that was nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt at legalizing discrimination.

Brian Apple
Brian Apple

Thankful I will be able to vote against his bigotry in a couple of years!

Nathan Parks
Nathan Parks

Josh McKoon NOT running for re-election is about the only thing he could do that would ALMOST make me believe in Jesus.

Bonnie Martin
Bonnie Martin

Except for the fact that he is arrogant enough to believe he can succeed at running for higher office.

Dean Walton
Dean Walton

Thank God. I've had enough of this bigot representing me.

Susan Barmon
Susan Barmon

He's eyeing the gov mansion or ag. He'll have to assess his chances to see if the electorate will support his prejudices. The ga state house didn't.

Daniel Airek
Daniel Airek

Bye bye Felecia! He keeps saying Christians are so persecuted in America. Strange, I haven't seen the government beheading any pastors on a live feed online. I have seen and experienced radical Christians vandalize and destroy my property, try to get me fired from my job, curse and swear at me, and try to kill me. Simply because of who I have chosen to love in the privacy of my own home.

Bonnie Martin
Bonnie Martin

Stuart Wells Yeah Stuart - real funny. Maybe you and McKlown can become BFFs. Just stay in Columbus and don't invite me to your wedding.

Dan Armstrong
Dan Armstrong

he's leaving because no one wants his bigot ideas around....get lost mcgoon

Charles Jones
Charles Jones

That's unfortunate, he is no doubt the best Senator there. He is a hero for religious liberty, for ethics, and for transparency in government. I hope that he will run for higher office - we need more people like Senator McKoon in government!

Renee Rainey Johnson
Renee Rainey Johnson

Religion has no place in government... Separation of church and state...

John D. Melton II
John D. Melton II

So great that he cost his district 10-11 million in funding for the national infantry museum and Columbus state... great job!!!

Bill Stockstill
Bill Stockstill

Obviously your definition of religious freedom isn't the same as the Founding Fathers.

Jeri Henson Dies
Jeri Henson Dies

Steve Morris Hey Hey Ho Ho The idiot POS-POTUS must go!! And Joshie McKoon too!

Steve Morris
Steve Morris

Jeri Henson Dies he will be next Governor of Georgia

Steve Morris
Steve Morris

Jeri Henson Dies college must not have worked for you.

Lisa Gomperts
Lisa Gomperts

MKLOON as Governor?? OMG thank you so much for the laugh!!! he will NOT be missed ✔✔✔👎💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩👺

Shane Howell
Shane Howell

He could actually win. Hell, have you noticed some of the people we've elected for governor?????

Starik
Starik

Running for Governor, unfortunately.