Mitch Seabaugh has apparently changed his mind. Here is the text of an e-mail sent to the caucus:
The Senate Republican Caucus works great as a team. We have been able to accomplish a lot for the good people of Georgia mainly because we have been able to focus on the needs of the people of this state instead of politics or personal agendas.
Senator Eric Johnson taught us “the strength of the warrior was in the tribe.” We have worked as a team keeping that in mind. Every member has contributed by serving where their skills best contribute to the success of our team. That has allowed us to come together and work through issues professionally and with respect, ultimately building a consensus that in the end best serves the citizens of Georgia.
This past week we have been able to again demonstrated how we can work together and build consensus to achieve resolution rather than conflict.
We have had open and honest assessments of what needs to be done and how we best construct a team that can lead in our efforts to meet the challenges that face us next year. I am proud to serve with such a distinguished group of individuals that can so professionally put people in the roles where they can best contribute.
In discussing the roles in which we can best serve our caucus and ultimately the people of Georgia, my passion and my experience is best suited by again serving as our caucus whip, provided of course that the caucus would allow me the opportunity to again serve.
While many would think it is unfortunate that our discussions of who would serve in what role became so public these past few days, I believe it has been valuable. It showed how we can work through issues as a team and come out united and committed to doing what is most important – the people’s business.
Here is the interesting part. Johnson isn’t running for President Pro-Tem. He announced yesterday via e-mail that he’ll run for Lt. Governor in 2010. He also gave his endorsement to Majority Leader Tommie Williams for Pro-Tem and Chip Rogers for Majority Leader.
Johnson’s e-mail can be read below the cut.
After two months of personal reflection, family discussions, and consulting with friends and activists across this great state, I have made an important decision. If Casey runs for Governor, I will run for Lieutenant Governor. I am proud of the work we have done as a team and confident in my ability to continue bringing people together to move our state forward.
It has been my honor to serve as the Minority Leader for four years and the President Pro Tempore for six wonderful years. During this time, we elected a Republican Governor, gained and expanded our majority in the Senate, won a critical redistricting case, and helped our allies in the House achieve a majority as well.
Together, we earned our transition from minority to majority party. We promised the citizens that, given the privilege of leading this great state, we would govern based on core conservative principles. That is exactly what we have done. Limited government, local control, and personal accountability have been the foundation for our efforts as a caucus.
As with the role of Minority Leader and President Pro Tem, I intend to pour every ounce of energy, experience, and enthusiasm that I have into my candidacy. As a result, it is in the best interest of the caucus to turn the reins of leadership over to someone else. I will serve out the remainder of my term as the President Pro Tem and then focus my final two years in the Senate on my district, my campaign, and presenting solutions to the challenges that threaten our state’s future prosperity.
Steady leadership has served our caucus well in the past, and I believe that steady leadership is imperative for us to continue effectively addressing whatever problems may await us on the horizon. That is why I am also using this opportunity to express my support for Tommie Williams as our next President Pro Tempore and Chip Rogers as our next Majority Leader. Without a doubt, our caucus has many individuals capable of assuming more responsibility; however this is the team that I believe will best lead us in the future.
You are a great caucus, and it has been the honor of my life to have your support as President Pro Tem for these last six years. I look forward to seeking your valued advice and counsel as I begin a new path in my public service.