Citing a desire to spend more time with his law practice, State Rep. Robert Mumford (R-Conyers) announced last Thursday that he will not run for re-election for District 95.
"It's a decision I've been thinking about for a long time," Mumford said. "I just decided that I needed to spend more time with my law practice. I had never intended to make a career out of it. I stayed for four years and I think that's long enough. It was a great honor. I enjoyed doing it."
In his time at the Capitol, Mumford said he was especially proud of his role in bringing $2 million to Newton County for the building of the Porter Memorial Branch Library and $2 million for the expansion of the Nancy Guinn Memorial Library in Conyers.
Mumford said he was also proud of the work he did with State Rep. Doug Holt (R-Social Circle) on his Fair Annexation Act, which passed the legislature in 2007.
A former District Attorney and Superior Court Judge for the Rockdale Judicial Circuit, Mumford said his decision not to seek a third term was not at all influenced by the changing demographics of his district which includes parts of Newton, Rockdale and Gwinnett Counties.
In 2006, Mumford narrowly defeated his Democrat challenger George Wilson, capturing 51.8 percent of the vote, according to the Secretary of State's Web site. Earlier this week Wilson qualified again to run as a Democrat for the District 95 seat.
Mumford said he has not ruled out running for political office in the future.
"I guess you never know what life may hold," Mumford said.
Mumford's decision not to seek re-election has already been mourned in some unlikely quarters.
The left-of-center alternative Atlanta weekly newspaper, Creative Loafing, lamented Mumford's departure from the legislature on their Web site last week, noting that they had awarded him an Arnie Award - which recognizes "lawmakers and other state leaders who held back just a bit of the buffoonery perpetrated on the public during the General Assembly session" - three years in a row.
"I've always tried to work in a non-partisan fashion and to build consensus," Mumford said. "I think that's very important."
During his time in the General Assembly, Mumford argued in favor of enforceable sex-offender bills and spoke against a bill which would have allowed non-unanimous juries to issue death sentences.
In the 2008 session, Mumford oversaw the awarding of a fifth judge to the Alcovy Judicial Circuit. He also introduced a bill to provide a free forensic medical exam to victims of sexual assault. The bill, which mandates that the forensic evidence be maintained for 10 years, was successfully passed out of the General Assembly.
Mumford said he was very disappointed that a transportation measure to allow regions to vote on passing a sales tax within their district to fund regional road improvements failed to pass the Senate after making it out of the House.
"I think we need to do a better job of making sure that we are responding to major issues like transportation," Mumford said.