Stuckey-Benfield Will Not Seek Re-election

State Representative Stephanie Stuckey Benfield has announced her plans to become the new Executive Director of GreenLaw, a Georgia environmental advocacy organization, dedicated to clean air and clean water. Benfield will begin her new position at the conclusion of this year’s legislative session.

Full release below the fold, also at this link

An outdoors enthusiast and nature lover, Rep. Benfield has been a vocal environmental advocate during her 14 years as a member of the Georgia House’s Natural Resources Committee. Her commitment to clean water and clean air issues grew even stronger after her son was diagnosed with asthma.

“When I learned that my son has asthma, it really hit home that pollution can hurt our most vulnerable citizens, our children,” said Benfield. “For the past 20 years, GreenLaw has been a leader in protecting Georgians from pollution, and I am excited to be able to focus my attention on cleaning up our air and water for our families.”

Rep. Benfield received both an undergraduate and law degree from the University of Georgia. She graduated Cum Laude from UGA law school in 1992. Among her notable achievements while in office are: earning the Outstanding Lawyer in Public Service Award by the Atlanta Bar Association, being named one of “40 under 40” promising Georgians by Georgia Trend magazine as well as one of “16 Attorneys to Watch” by the Fulton County Daily Report. She was also awarded the Environmental Leadership Award by the Georgia Conservation Voters and the Georgia Urban Forest Council Award for Promoting Arbor Day in public schools.

Rep. Benfield will be finishing out her legislative term. She will not, however, seek re-election to the Georgia General Assembly in order to focus her full-time energies leading GreenLaw.

In addition to continuing the effort to stop pollution from two other proposed coal plants in south Georgia, GreenLaw represents nonprofit clients around the state to help enforce laws that protect nature. GreenLaw is representing Ogeechee Riverkeeper in an effort to stop pollution following the state’s largest fish kill on the south Georgia River. Attorneys at GreenLaw are also working to ensure that pollution from landfills and scrap tire dumps don’t negatively affect community health in the metro-Atlanta area.

“I look forward to working with the skilled attorneys at GreenLaw to continue to give our environment its day in court,” said Rep. Benfield.   “Whether the pollution is from landfills, careless industries, or dirty coal, it’s high time that we clear the air and clean the water in Georgia so our children can live healthy, productive lives,” Benfield said.

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GreenLaw is dedicated to preventing air and water pollution that endangers human health and degrades Georgia’s natural resources. GreenLaw achieves these goals by providing free high quality legal and technical assistance to environmental organizations and community groups throughout Georgia.

Stephanie Stuckey Benfield currently represents House District 85, which includes neighborhoods in metro-Atlanta. In the Georgia Legislature, Stephanie serves on the following House Committees: Banks & Banking, Judiciary, and Natural Resources. A bio and resume are available at GreenLaw’s website:


  1. SallyForth says:

    It’s a sad day. Rep. Stuckey-Benfield is one of the brightest legislators at the Capitol, and this is a loss not only for her constituents but the whole state. Count her as the first announced casualty of the ruling Republicans who gerrymandered her into the same district with a fellow Democrat. Best wishes in your new endeavor, Stephanie.

    • “Count her as the first announced casualty of the Department of Justice’s mandated minimum and maximum percentages for African-American voting age population in State House Districts.”
      -Fixed that for ya.

      • SallyForth says:

        Uh huh – you’re such a sweetheart, Mike. And the Legislators had to go for the maximum allowable by DOJ, right? So I guess the same applies to what Cassandra is talking about below?

        • Cassandra says:

          Because I am sure that going for ‘less than’ the maximum allowances by DOJ would have been rewarded in some way.

          Certainly not rewarded by Constituents, nor by the Minority Party.

          Without speaking to Rep. S-B, I am going to guess that the recent absurdity that is the DeKalb delegation RE: District School Maps may have played into this decision.

  2. Cassandra says:

    “…Count her as the first announced casualty of the ruling Republicans who gerrymandered her into the same district with a fellow Democrat….”

    Egregiously, the same thing happened to then-Rep. Millar and longtime fellow GOP Rep. J. Max Davis, Sr.

    Most Dems agree that this reapportionment was handled more fairly than they thought.

    As to Rep. S-B, hopefully she can do less harm with a nice 501(c)(3) like Greenlaw.

    • Toxic Avenger says:

      Are we really making the “they did it” argument again?

      And no, no Dems (I should know, I am one) thought this was handled more fairly than we thought. In fact, I cannot possibly think about how this could be worse. Where are your sources for that information?

      • Cassandra says:

        “We have trouble with Brown’s comment that Democrats had “no input” in location of the hearings because all members of the Georgia Legislature were asked for suggestions of sites. Some of the sites are in largely Democratic terrain such as Atlanta, Albany, Columbus and Macon.

        As for Brown’s point about being left out of the process, his argument is based on not being asked to speak at the hearings and how Seabaugh has asked other lawmakers for input. Seabaugh did ask lawmakers not to ask or answer questions. Seabaugh has written letters to lawmakers asking them for their ideas or concerns about reapportionment.

        Brown’s claim and argument ignore some critical facts we believe will give the casual reader a different impression of this issue.

        We rate his claim Barely True.”

        And of course, Last Democrat in Georgia offers this ringing endorsement of snuggles:

        in the comments section.

        The new political reality of Georgia is our Democratic Party is now primarily rural/urban African Americans. Marginalization is not a good recipe for governance.

  3. NoTeabagging says:

    Rep. Stuckey-Benfield is one of the rare legislators that put the people first over party affiliation. She earned respect on both teams and sought to lead in a non-partisan manner. She carefully reviewed all sides of an issue before making a decision on legislation. Her respect for constituents from all walks of life is unparalleled. She made many community appearances and responded to all constituents especially during the busy legislative session. It will be impossible to replace her.

  4. Calypso says:

    I loved the coconut patties that we would buy at her family’s roadside stores when I was a kid on vacation traveling with my folks.

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