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Georgia Rep. Sam Watson to run for State Senate seat

The Georgia Senate seat vacated this week by Sen. Dean Burke, R-Bainbridge, already is drawing attention.

State Rep. Sam Watson, R-Moultrie, has resigned his House seat to run for the opening in Southwest Georgia’s 11th Senate District.

Gov. Brian Kemp has scheduled special elections Jan. 31 to fill both seats.

Watson was elected in 2012 to represent House District 172, which at the time included portions of Colquitt, Tift, and Thomas counties.

A farmer by trade, Watson has been active on agricultural issues in the General Assembly. He served on the House Agriculture Committee as well as the Appropriations, Natural Resources & Environment, and Ways and Means committees.

Watson was reelected to a newly redistricted House District 172 seat in November, running unopposed. That district now no longer includes Tift County but instead takes in a portion of Cook County.

Burke resigned the Senate seat this week to take a job as chief medical officer of the Georgia Department of Community Health.

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