In a letter to Gov. Nathan Deal and legislative leaders, the Smyrna attorney said she has "stood up for the voiceless, spoken out for change and held firm against retreat" while working across party lines since her 2010 election.
"It was my honor to represent the people of my district, but it is time that my place is taken by another," she wrote. "It is with a heavy heart, but with an enthusiastic eye to the future that I tender my resignation from the Georgia House of Representatives."
She is the third gubernatorial candidate to step down in recent weeks to concentrate on a campaign to succeed Deal. Republican state Sen. Hunter Hill and state Rep. Stacey Abrams, who once led the chamber's Democratic caucus, both resigned in late August.
Republican state Rep. Geoff Duncan, one of three GOP office-holders running for lieutenant governor, also earlier resigned his seat. More moves could soon be coming: The window is fast-closing for lawmakers to step down while still ensuring a special election will be held this year.
But remaining in office also has significant drawbacks. State legislators and constitutional officers can’t raise campaign money during the 40-day legislative session, which spans from January through March and possibly longer, and every day at the Capitol means less time meeting voters or stumping at events.
The other three leading GOP candidates for office - Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Brian Kemp and state Sen. Michael Williams - have all said they intend to remain in office.
Evans represents a Democratic-leaning district that hugs I-75 as it stretches through parts of Smyrna and east Cobb County. She captured almost three-quarters of the vote in November to defeat a little-known Republican.
Deal set the special election to replace Evans for Nov. 7, the same day as other city and county races. One candidate has already filed paperwork to run for the seat: Smyrna Mayor Pro Tem Teri Anulewicz, a Democrat and long-time public affairs specialist.
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