State Rep. David Casas
Photo: David Casas/For the AJC
Photo: David Casas/For the AJC

First GOP Hispanic lawmaker in Georgia to retire 

Georgia Republicans have another suburban seat to defend in the state Legislature. 

State Rep. David Casas, the first Hispanic Republican state legislator in Georgia history, announced Monday he will not seek re-election in November. 

In a statement to the AJC, he said he wants to spend more time with his wife and teenage children, tend to his mounting duties as a college professor and administrator, and invest more time in his writing and his church. 

Casas was first elected to the Lilburn-based district in 2002 and was known for sponsoring anti-gang legislation and a tuition tax credit in the mid-2000s. 

He trounced Democratic opponents in 2008 and 2010, and he’s run unopposed since then. But Casas was likely to face a credible Democratic challenger this year. Hillary Clinton won his district by about 12 points in 2016, making it one of the party’s juiciest pickup opportunities.

Emboldened by last year’s special election victories - and infuriated by President Donald Trump’s election - Democrats are circling fast-changing suburban districts like the one Casas represents. 

At least three other GOP lawmakers in purplish territory have already announced plans to retire: Rich Golick of Smyrna, Tom Taylor of Dunwoody and Wendell Willard of Sandy Springs. And over in the Senate, David Shafer’s bid for lieutenant governor leaves open another competitive seat.

Insider’s note: This item was ripped and expanded from the Jolt.

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.