Linder decides he won’t seek re-election

John Linder, a Georgia Republican and perhaps best known as a champion of the FairTax, won’t seek re-election to Congress this year, according to news reports.

“You can’t keep doing things forever,” Linder told News/Talk 750 WSB. “I never intended to stay as long as I did. 18 years is a long time.”

It isn’t immediately clear who will be the most likely candidate to replace Linder, but an AJC report indicates John Smoltz, a former pitcher for the Atlanta Braves, could among the possibilities. Regardless, many political pundits predict the seat is likely to remain Republican.

“I’ve assured our leadership just recently through an email that they should not worry about spending any money here,” Linder said, according to News/Talk 750 WSB. “I will stay and keep an eye on the election.”

A former dentist, Linder was first elected to the house in 1992, and his district includes all or portions of Barrow, Forsyth, Newton, Gwinnett and Walton counties. He has written two books about the FairTax with nationally syndicated talk show host Neal Boortz.

“John Linder has been a wonderful servant to the people of Georgia, and his presence will be sorely missed in Congress,” U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., said in a statement. “From the economy and taxation to national security and health care reform, John has been a principled voice on the issues that matter most to the American people.

“No one has been a more tireless champion of common sense tax reform. John’s leadership has helped build nationwide support for the FairTax both in Congress and at the grassroots. I will do all I can to ensure the FairTax movement continues to grow,” Price added. “One day soon, we will honor John’s legacy and make a smart decision for the country by enacting this much needed reform. Georgia and our great nation will greatly miss the public service of John Linder. We join all of Georgia in wishing Lynne and John the very best.”

Before he was elected to Congress, Linder served seven terms in the Georgia General Assembly. Linder and his wife of 44 years have two children and four grandchildren.

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