A Polk County legislator some thought would throw his hat into the 14th Congressional District race will instead seek to keep his seat in the state House.

Majority Whip and state Rep. Trey Kelley, R-Cedartown, said in a brief statement that he doesn’t intend to seek the congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Tom Graves when he retires at the end of the term in 2020.

“Representing the 16th District is one of the greatest honors of my life. I am humbled and honored by the outpouring of support coming from across our nation, leaders in Washington, and most importantly our local community encouraging me to run for our district’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives,” Kelley said in a written statement. “However, at this time, Amy and I feel the best way to serve our community, state, and nation is by continuing to represent the 16th District in the State House.”

Kelley was first elected to the Legislature in 2012 and is in his fourth term in office. He was named Majority Whip for the 2019-2020 session after serving on the whip team and a number of committees.

He currently serves on the House’s Ethics, Code Revision, Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications, Heath and Human Services and Ways and Means committees. He’s also secretary for the Higher Education and Judiciary committees and sits in an ex-officio capacity on the rules committee.

Locally, Kelley has also participated on a number of boards and organizations, including his most recent appointment to the Cedartown-Polk County Hospital Authority and PMC, Inc. boards.

Kelley would have faced at least one primary challenger, Marjorie Taylor Greene, an Alpharetta businesswoman who said last week she’ll shift her campaign from the Atlanta area’s District 6 race to the 14th District.

State Sen. Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, has said he’s seriously considering a run for the seat and several other potential Republican candidates are generating speculation.

The names of state Reps. Katie Dempsey of Rome and Eddie Lumsden of Armuchee have surfaced, along with Paulding County School Board member Jason Anavitarte. Also on Monday, a press release stated state Rep. Colton Moore of Trenton was considering a run.


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