Veteran state Sen. John Bulloch, R-Ochlocknee, has resigned, becoming the second senator this week to announce he was leaving office before the next legislative session.
Bulloch, first elected to the state House in 1998, came to the Senate in 2002. He was hospitalized in October with meningitis.
A special election will be held Jan. 8 to fill his District 11 seat. Located in the state’s southwest corner, the district includes Colquitt, Decatur, Early, Grady, Miller and Seminole counties, and parts of Mitchell and Thomas counties.
Bulloch’s departure comes the same week as former Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, and brings to three the number of open seats in the Senate going into the new year.
Rogers resigned Wednesday to accept a job with Georgia Public Broadcasting, starting in January.
A special election to fill his seat will also be held Jan. 8, as will a previously called special election to fill Senate District 30 — which became open when state Sen. Bill Hamrick stepped down after Gov. Nathan Deal named him a Superior Court judge on the Coweta Judicial Circuit.
The state Legislature’s next session begins Jan. 14.
An economy that sent more people to the workforce instead of the classroom, tougher requirements for financial aid, and a higher bar for admissions are among the factors that contributed to a drop in enrollment at the state’s public colleges and universities for the second year in a row.