A local legislator some had thought would throw his hat into the 14th Congressional District race will instead seek to keep his seat in the state house.

State GOP Majority Whip and 16th District State Legislator Trey Kelley said in a brief statement that he doesn’t intend to seek the congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Tom Graves when he retires at the end of the term in 2020.

“Representing the 16th District is one of the greatest honors of my life. I am humbled and honored by the outpouring of support coming from across our nation, leaders in Washington, and most importantly our local community encouraging me to run for our district’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives,” Kelley said in a written statement. “However, at this time, Amy and I feel the best way to serve our community, state, and nation is by continuing to represent the 16th District in the State House.”

Kelley was first elected to the state house representing Polk and Haralson counties in 2012 and is in his fourth term in office. He was elected Majority Whip for the 2019-2020 session after serving on the whip team and a number of committee assignments.

He currently services on the house’s Ethics, Code Revision, Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications, Heath and Human Services and Ways and Means, and is secretary for the Higher Education and Judiciary committees. He also sits in an ex-oficio capacity on the rules committee.

He also previously served as vice chair of the Ways and Means committee. Locally, Kelley has also participated on a number of boards and organizations, including his most recent appointment to the Cedartown-Polk County Hospital Authority and PMC, Inc. boards.

Kelley would have faced at least one primary challenger who is moving to Rome to shift her campaign from the Atlanta area to the 14th district. Alpharetta businesswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene confirmed her move to Rome last week in a race that also might include Georgia Sen. Jeff Mullis, R — Chickamauga, who said last week is considering a run for the seat.

The Rome News-Tribune and other area news sources have speculated that other potential candidates considering a run include Paulding County School Board member Jason Anavitarte and some Floyd County state lawmakers, including District 13 State Rep. Katie Dempsey, R-Rome and District 1 Rep. Colton Moore.

Two additional names reported by the West Georgia Neighbor that ruled themselves out of the race include District 67 State Rep. Micah Gravley, R-Douglasville; and Virginia Galloway.

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