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Carter to run for Senate
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Buddy Carter’s next term as representative for the southern portion of Effingham County under the Gold Dome likely will be his last.

Carter, who was re-elected for a third term to the state House of Representatives for District 159, announced Tuesday he is running for the 1st District senate seat, currently held by Eric Johnson. Johnson has announced he will run for lieutenant governor in 2010.

“I’m really excited about serving in the Senate,” Carter said Wednesday.

Carter (R-Pooler) has represented west Chatham and south Effingham since 2005. The 1st Senate District includes portions of Liberty and Chatham counties and all of Bryan County.

“I love serving west Chatham and south Effingham,” Carter said. “I love it. I love my House district. It was not an easy decision to make.”

Johnson announced in October his intent to run for lieutenant governor.

Carter said he had been thinking about running for the 1st District seat since Johnson announced his intention to run for lieutenant governor.

Carter is secretary of the House Health and Human Services Committee, but as one of 56 senators — instead of 180 representatives — he stands a chance to move up faster in the leadership ranks.

Before joining the General Assembly in 2005, Carter served five terms as the mayor of Pooler. He has also served as chairman of the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Planning Commission and chairman of the Coastal Georgia Regional Development Center.

“We simply must find reasonable solutions to this state’s most pressing problems, which includes job creation and trauma care,” Carter said. “The Coastal Empire has made great strides in becoming one of the fastest growing areas, and I look forward to helping take our issues to the Georgia Senate.”

Johnson said he has done all he can in the senate and believes he now can make a more effective impact in the coming years as lieutenant governor.

“I have reached the pinnacle of my senatorial career, and it’s time to step aside,” Johnson said. “My plan is to continue to move Georgia forward and bring its people together. I think this is the best way to accomplish that.”

Johnson has not publicly endorsed Carter, but said he is confident in his abilities.

“Buddy represents the kind of person I’d like to see in the state senate,” Johnson said. “His record of public service as mayor and for the state goes to show that. He has an understanding of both state and city issues, which is certainly a plus.”

The position of lieutenant governor will be up for grabs in 2010 as current Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle has announced plans to run for governor. Term limits prevent current Gov. Sonny Perdue from seeking a third term.

The Bryan County News contributed to this report.