State Sen. Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, is stepping down as a candidate in the race to represent Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District in the U.S. Congress.

Beach announced his decision with a news release Thursday, stating he will now seek reelection in the state Senate instead.

“Today, I am ending my campaign for Congress,” Beach said in the release. “During this campaign, I have come to realize that a calling to public service does not always mean running for higher office.”

Beach was in third place in the Sixth Congressional District race as far as campaign contributions go, behind incumbent Lucy McBath, a Democrat, and her nearest rival Karen Handel, a Republican, financial records from late October show.

At that time, Beach had received $166,625 in campaign contributions in the latest quarter, and $525,632 since the start of the year, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Beach said he decided he would be more effective in the Georgia Senate than the U.S. Congress after speaking with Gov. Brian Kemp over the weekend.

“I believe that, at this time, I can help more Georgians in the positions I currently hold,” he said. “Elected office was not my life’s desire, but a calling.”

Beach said if he’s reelected to represent Georgia’s Senate District 21 next year, he will work “tirelessly” for his constituents in Fulton and Cherokee counties.

“I want to thank everyone that has supported my campaign with their time, financial contributions, words of encouragement and support,” he said. “I still feel strongly that we must elect bold candidates to federal office who can go beyond the rhetoric and advance common-sense conservative policies and practical solutions to the many challenges facing people across the 6th District and our state.”

Kemp also issued a statement Thursday in relation to Beach’s announcement, saying he applauds Beach “for his willingness to serve in Congress” but respects his decision to remain in the Georgia Senate.

“Quite honestly, we need bold leadership under the Gold Dome to continue our success and keep Georgia the best place to live, work, and raise a family,” Kemp said. “At the State Capitol, Senator Beach has led efforts to cut red tape and eliminate burdensome regulations on job creators. He has championed crucial infrastructure projects and reforms and worked to protect our conservative Georgia values. I look forward to partnering with Senator Beach in the years to come to lower healthcare costs, protect our families from gangs, enhance our educational outcomes and put hardworking Georgians first.”

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