John Douglas, District 1 Newton County Commissioner, announced Wednesday he will not seek reelection in 2016.
“Careful prayer, the approaching birth of our twin grandsons and the fact that I have given our nation, state and county more than 33 years of service now lead me to believe it is time to step aside and not be a candidate this year,” Douglas said.
Douglas was elected to the Newton County Board of Commissioners (BOC) in 2012, and is proud to have voted against every tax increase, worked to limit development in east and south Newton County and fought to stop bigger government.
Douglas was a part of several important BOC decisions in recent months, including the suspension of spending on the Bear Creek Water Reservoir project in October, voting to move from appointed attorney Tommy Craig to an in-house legal staff in November, and voting to send a new charter to the Georgia legislature and develop a new form of government for Newton County.
Those decisions followed a time when Douglas came under fire and faced calls for his resignation for racial comments that were posted to his Facebook page in July.
A successor for the District 1 seat has yet to come forward. With qualifying set for March, a candidate has not yet announced their intention to run for Douglas’s seat.
“I hope the next First District Commissioner will have the experience needed to make the right decisions and will both listen to and be accessible to the voters who put him/her in office,” Douglas said.
Douglas, himself, ran for office after a former District 1 commissioner, Mort Ewing, opted not to seek reelection.
Prior to Douglas running in 2012, he was a Georgia Senator , where he served as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans, Military and Homeland Security, using his position to visit Georgia soldiers across the country.
Douglas was also the first Republican from Newton County to be elected to the Georgia House and Senate, and the first in nearly 150 years to run for a statewide office. The retired Army officer also served on the Newton County School Board.
“I will leave elected office knowing I have done exactly as I said I would do when campaigning for each office,” Douglas said. “I can hold my head up high and look citizens in the face knowing they were not double crossed, not fooled, not surprised by what I did in office. Their confidence in me all these years is something I will value and cherish the rest of my life.”
In retirement from political office, Douglas will spend time with his wife of more than 28 years, Susan, as the two anticipate the birth of their first grandsons this summer.
“I wish all of those on the county commission starting in 2017 the best and hope they will work together to make Newton County a shining light in the heart of Georgia,” Douglas said.