Politics: Graves leaving Congress in October, before his term ends in early January.

Politics: Graves leaving Congress in October, before his term ends in early January.

Tom Graves


In context: U.S. Rep. Tom Graves stunned the Northwest Georgia district by announcing in December he wouldn’t seek a new term. That touched off a Republican free-for-fall with eight GOP candidates in a twice-delayed primary and a jarring runoff. Now comes word that Graves will leave office in October and not when his term ends in early January. His announcement comes just hours after the Democratic candidate to succeed him, Kevin Van Ausdal, withdrew from the race. Marjorie Taylor Greene is the Republican nominee on the ballot.

Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) released the following statement on Friday:

 “With the House planning to wrap up the people’s business and the final report from the Modernization Committee set to be filed in the next few weeks, I intend to step down from Congress and begin the next chapter of life in October. Congress is going into a long recess and my committee work will be complete. In short, my work will be done. I’m announcing this today to avoid surprises, and it just doesn’t seem right to kill time on the taxpayer dime.

“I plan to finish strong and will ensure any important transitional items are complete for my constituents in the 14th District. One of the last votes I’ll cast as a U.S. Representative will be in support of the reforms crafted by the Modernization Committee to make Congress work better for those we serve. I can think of no better way to leave The People’s House.”

Floyd County Republican Chair Luke Martin says he does not expect the Governor to call for a special election.

“We had a lot of interesting developments in the 14th Congressional District today. I was very surprised to hear that Congressman Tom Graves has decided to leave office a few months earlier than expected. Procedurally, there’s not enough time left in Congressman Graves’ term to warrant a special election to replace him. So don’t expect the Governor to call for a special election like he did for the late John Lewis in the 5th House District. Instead, our next Representative will be determined by the November general election,” says Martin.

“That election was supposed to be between Republican Marjorie Greene and Democrat Kevin Van Ausdal, but Van Ausdal shocked everyone by announcing his withdrawal from the race for personal and family reasons. I wish him the best, and my family and I will keep him in our prayers. State law would seemingly only allow the state Democratic Party to replace Van Ausdal with another candidate if Van Ausdal is disqualified from office. If he merely withdraws from the race, as opposed to being disqualified, his party would not have the chance to replace him on the ballot since his withdrawal would come with less than 60 days until the election. I expect to see some mental gymnastics by the Democratic Party to call Van Ausdal’s exit a disqualification instead of a withdrawal.”
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