MONROE, Ga. — Rep. Jody Hice will run for reelection in 2020 and said he is not asking Gov. Brian Kemp to consider him for the upcoming vacancy in the U.S. Senate.
Hice, a Republican from Greensboro, was elected to the House in 2014. At the time, he lived in Bold Springs and became the first Walton County resident elected to Congress.
Hice was reelected without opposition in 2016 and won a landslide vote for a third term in November.
“I’ve had a lot of folks who have asked me to consider the Senate position and have my name in the hat, but the people of the 10th District voted me to represent them in the House,” he told The Walton Tribune in an interview Thursday afternoon.
Isakson, a Republican from Marietta, is stepping down Dec. 31 in the middle of his third term due to concerns about his health.
Hice noted he’s serving as the communication chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, a conservative group of legislators, a position he said has him busy.
“I’m very humbled … but I am not going to be submitting my name, I’m not going to be an applicant for the Senate,” he said. “I look forward to running again in the 10th District and hope the people would entrust me to continue representing them.”
The person Kemp selects would serve until a new senator is elected in the November 2020 election. That will be through a “jungle primary,” in which all candidates appear on the ballot without going through the traditional party primaries.
Sen. David Perdue, a Republican from Warner Robins, is running for a second term in 2020 as well.
Applicants for the Isakson seat include Rep. Doug Collins of Gainesville and Hice’s predecessor in the House, Dr. Paul Broun of Athens. Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price also has applied.
Hice said he will not be making a suggestion to Kemp, who lived in his district before becoming governor.
“This is the governor’s decision, and those who want to apply can apply, and I feel confident he will make what he feels is the best choice for Georgia,” Hice said, “and I totally support the governor.”