Georgia’s Republican lieutenant governor, a Trump critic, says he will not seek reelection in 2022


(CNN)Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan — a Republican who has been critical of former President Donald Trump’s false claims of fraud in the state’s election — announced Monday he will not seek reelection in 2022.

“It always feels coldest right before the sun rises,” Duncan wrote in a statement posted on Twitter. “I believe that is the exact moment in time the Republican Party is caught in right now, and I am committed to being a part of creating those better days ahead for our conservative party all across this country.”

Duncan is the latest Republican official to voice his concerns over the direction of the GOP as many lawmakers and Trump allies continue to peddle conspiracy theories and push lies about the 2020 election and then outline their vision for reforming the party.

    Duncan, who previously admitted that he voted for Trump in the 2020 election, defended the state’s election process after the former President repeatedly lambasted him and other Georgia officials for not overturning the election results in his favor. In January, he criticized Trump’s phone call with Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger where the former President pressured Raffensperger to falsify the election results, saying it was “inappropriate.” He also said Rudy Giuliani’s false claims that the election was stolen from Trump, which Giuliani presented to state lawmakers, created momentum for a package of voting rights restrictions that recently became state law.

      Duncan also said Monday that in the coming months he would be working to help build GOP 2.0, an organization that he says will “focus on healing and rebuilding a Republican Party that is damaged,” through a strategy called P.E.T. Project.

        “GOP 2.0 will work hard everyday reminding Americans the values of conservative Polices through genuine Empathy and a respectful Tone,” he wrote.

        CNN’s Terence Burlij contributed to this report.