His announcement came hours before the end of the 40-day legislative session that kicks off the unofficial campaign season.
Allen, who runs a consultant firm that specializes in workforce development, took an unusual path to state politics.
He ran for the Smyrna-based House seat in 2014 and 2016, losing to incumbent Republican Rich Golick. When Golick vacated the seat, Allen ran in 2018 for a third time and was initially defeated in a primary by Sandra Bullock – not the actress, but a political newcomer who didn’t actively campaign for the job.
Bullock quickly withdrew from the race and Allen was awarded the nomination. He defeated a GOP contender in 2018 and coasted to re-election two years later, making a mark as a chief supporter of new environmental regulations after a Smyrna plant was discovered emitting higher levels of toxic gas.
Duncan will face a tough road to re-election after he drew former President Donald Trump’s scorn for refuting his falsehoods about widespread election fraud. Several other Republicans are said to be considering a challenge to Duncan, including top figures in the Georgia Senate.