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Douglas ends congressional bid

COVINGTON - County Commissioner John Douglas is ending his bid for Congress, he announced Monday.

Douglas announced in February that he was running for the District 10 seat currently held by Rep. Paul Broun of Athens. Broun is running for Saxby Chambliss' Senate seat.

Douglas said the decision to end his campaign comes after careful consideration and discussions with his wife, family and supporters.

"We had the beginnings of a great grass roots effort and had already generated support and commitments from most of the larger counties in the district," he said in a press release issued Monday afternoon. "We were beginning to bring things together and make a strong initial start many months ahead of the primary and runoff."

Douglas said being a county commissioner "has consumed far more time than I suspected it would require. I cannot carry out my responsibilities as Commissioner in a professional manner and mount a Congressional campaign at the same time. It's time to 'clear the decks' and give the county commission 100 percent of my time. This 'part time job' has proven to be anything but part time. I will remain a commissioner through these four years and decide at the appropriate time on a possible reelection campaign."

Douglas would have been required to resign his position as county commissioner upon qualifying to run for Congress in April 2014.

"When I ran for the Newton County Commission, I committed to serving the 1st Commission District for four years. In all the elected positions I have held, I have never left an office early to run for another office. In my mind, the prospect of bringing a congressional seat to Newton County was something that would have been a very great benefit to our county and an early start was required to get the campaign organized."

Shortly after being elected to county commission in November, Douglas announced he has Stage 1 prostate cancer. Douglas said he completed the last of his treatments on Monday and "I still have the risk of unexpected news as I work to become a legitimate cancer survivor over the next few years. The radiation treatments have gone well but there have been inevitable changes in my body that I have to accommodate.

"Thank you to my supporters and friends. I hope that my service as a county commissioner will make you proud you supported me," he concluded.

Douglas has previously served in the Georgia Senate and House of Representatives and the Newton County Board of Education.