Democrat Stacey Abrams resigned her state House seat this week to focus on her run for governor, setting up a likely special election in November to represent her Atlanta-based district.
In her resignation letter to Gov. Nathan Deal, she thanked her constituents, the governor's administration, House Speaker David Ralston and other members of the Legislature.
"Both in our work together and the lessons from our conflicts, we have demonstrated the importance of our system of government, to often put aside partisanship to work towards a better future and to learn from one another, despite our differences," she wrote of her colleagues in the General Assembly.
Abrams, who earlier stepped down from her post as the chamber's Minority Leader, faces state Rep. Stacey Evans in next year's Democratic primary. It's unclear if Evans will resign to focus on her campaign.
Four Republicans are also in the gubernatorial race: Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Brian Kemp and state Sens. Hunter Hill and Michael Williams.
The race to replace Abrams in the state House is already well underway - and has attracted nearly $200,000 in donations from a three-candidate field.
Attorney Sachin Varghese collected roughly $125,000 that included contributions from ex-gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter and his wife Kate and support from former Gov. Roy Barnes law firm. Activist and operative Bee Nguyen took in about $55,000 from donors that include state Rep. Sam Park, whose 2016 campaign for a Gwinnett-based seat she managed. A third candidate, attorney Monique Keane, raised nearly $10,000.
Read Abrams' entire resignation letter:
Dear Governor Deal:
Please accept this letter stating my intent to resign the post of Representative of House District 89, effective Friday, August 25, 2017. I have been privileged to serve the communities of this district since my election in 2006, and to serve the broader community of Georgia as House Minority Leader from 2010 to 2017. However, as I pursue a new elected office, the residents of our district will be best served by a representative focused wholly on their needs.
As I depart, I wish to thank my constituents for placing their faith in me for 11 years. You hold my profound gratitude for the opportunity to serve you, to learn from you and to speak to the concerns of our communities.
To Speaker David Ralston and my fellow members of the legislature, I thank you for your service and dedication to our state. Both in our work together and the lessons from our conflicts, we have demonstrated the importance of our system of government, to often put aside partisanship to work towards a better future and to learn from one another, despite our differences.
To the administration, I appreciate our collaborative work to serve kinship families, to pursue criminal justice reform, to preserve pre-K and our commitment to higher education, to invest in public transit, to deploy resources for struggling homeowners and families, to support our military services and to protect Georgia’s citizens.
It has been my deepest honor to serve.
Stacey Y. Abrams