Georgia 2018: Another Republican explores bid for lieutenant governor

Lt. Governor Casey Cagle (center ), walks with Senator Steve Gooch. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM

A fourth Republican is exploring a campaign for lieutenant governor in a race that’s fast becoming one of the most competitive under the Gold Dome.

State Sen. Steve Gooch said he’s exploring a run for Georgia’s No. 2 job after being pressed by several of his Senate colleagues and other GOP leaders who are “not satisfied with the current choices.”

“While my current plan is to run for re-election to the State Senate next year, I am giving it serious consideration,” said Gooch, who represents a Dahlonega-based district. He said he’d make his decision by July after hearing from community leaders and assessing it with his wife and three kids.

Senate Pro Tem David Shafer might be the biggest GOP name in the race to replace Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, but Gooch’s flirtation with a run is a sign that he has not cleared the field. State Sen. Rick Jeffares also recently entered the race with support from some of his GOP colleagues. State Rep. Geoff Duncan announced his bid months ago.

Shafer, a former executive director of the Georgia GOP, has locked up a range of establishment support, including endorsements from five Public Service Commissioners. But his opponents see him as vulnerable in a potential GOP runoff next year.

Several Democrats are eyeing the race to succeed Cagle, who is running for governor, including former state Rep. Ronnie Mabra.

 

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