For Sen. William Ligon, R-White Oak, 10 years in the Georgia General Assembly is enough.
Ligon made his feelings officially known shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday: he will not be returning to the Senate for another term representing the 3rd District.
In his statement, Ligon thanked supporters for electing him to the legislature five times, saying it’s been a wonderful and rewarding experience.
“Aside from the important legislative work that we have been able to accomplish for our district as well as for our state, I have met a lot of fine people throughout our community,” Ligon said. “In addition, I have enjoyed working with my colleagues in the Senate and with those who came alongside me to help champion a cause as citizen lobbyists. I am also grateful for many others who simply encouraged me along the way either with their words or by example or with their prayers.
“The trust you bestowed upon me was never taken lightly, and I sought to serve in a way that upheld that trust. Now, after a full decade in office, it is time for me to step aside and allow someone else the opportunity to serve our coastal district.”
Ligon, a native of the Georgia coast, moved to Camden County in 2006 and ran for the state Senate in 2010, defeating Terry Carter in the Republican primary that year. He then had the first of only two contested general elections, beating Democratic nominee Griffin Lotson.
Ligon ran unopposed in three consecutive elections before defeating Democratic nominee Jerrold Dagen in 2018.
Glynn County Republican Party Chairwoman Ginny Hall said she supports Ligon in his decision.
“That’s his personal decision, and we’ll do whatever we can to make sure that we have a Republican to replace him,” Hall said. “I wish him the best in whatever he plans to do. I like William — he’s been just a conscientious representative for us.”
Julie Jordan, chairwoman of the Glynn County Democratic Party and a candidate for state Rep. Don Hogan’s seat in the House, said the announcement comes as a surprise.
“Although we have not always agreed with Sen. Ligon’s positions on a lot of issues, we are thankful for the work he’s done on environmental issues this year,” Jordan said. “We wish him well in his next endeavors, and we are looking forward to running a candidate to win in that seat in 2020.”
Ligon is chairman of the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee and vice-chairman of both the Ethics and Reapportionment and Redistricting committees. He also was a member of the Senate committees on Appropriations, Health and Human Services and the Judiciary while serving in an ex-officio capacity on the Senate Science and Technology Committee.
Candidate qualifying for the 3rd District Senate seat and other local, state and federal offices begins at 9 a.m. Monday and closes March 6 at noon.
Cody Smith, a Camden County businessman running for the Republican nomination for Ligon’s seat, is the only new candidate who’s filed campaign finance disclosure reports ahead of the official qualifying period.