Some surprising news came on Friday regarding the House of Representatives’ race for Georgia’s 14th District. Democrat candidate Kevin Van Ausdal quit his campaign abruptly, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on Friday.
For those not familiar with the House race for Georgia’s 14th District, Van Ausdal was running against controversial Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene for a seat that is going to be vacated by retiring Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA).
Not long after Van Ausdal pulled out of the running, Graves announced that he will be retiring early in October, which adds another little twist to this story.
Let’s start with Van Ausdal’s sudden withdrawal. In his official statement, he simply cited “personal and family reasons.”
Michael McGraw, Van Ausdal’s campaign aide, however, later revealed to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution “that Van Ausdal quit his bid after his wife served him divorce papers and he was poised to move in with relatives in Indiana.”
“We told him there’s no wiggle room here,” said McGraw. “We are deeply saddened because the campaign was taking off in a lot of ways.”
It was already over
Whatever the reason for Van Ausdal’s departure may be, the truth of the matter is that he had little chance of beating Greene. The 14th District seat that the two candidates were competing for is located in a deep red part of Georgia.
Any doubt about Van Ausdal’s chances is now gone, since he is no longer in the race. Now, Greene is going to be the victor. Under Georgia law, starting at the 60-day mark, a new candidate cannot be substituted in following a withdrawal.
Following Van Ausdal’s announcement, Greene put out a statement on Twitter.
Shortly after Van Ausdal’s announcement, Rep. Graves put out an announcement of his own, saying that he will retire early in October ahead of an extended Congressional recess. “[I]t just doesn’t seem right to kill time on the taxpayer dime,” he said, according to The Hill. Since that is three months before his term officially ends, the question now is whether a special election will be held to temporarily fill his vacated seat.
This has yet to be decided. But come what may, it looks like Greene will be the next representative of Georgia’s 14th district.