Georgia’s Senate minority leader won’t seek re-election

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Senator Steve Henson, D – Stone Mountain, presents SB 331, which would allow lottery winners to remain anonymous, which passed the chamber. The Georgia senate later passed a compromise over a major overhaul to make adoptions easier in the state. Gov. Nathan Deal and legislative leaders say adoption is a priority for this session. (Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Atlanta (AP) – Georgia’s Senate minority leader says he won’t run for re-election in his suburban Atlanta district in 2020.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that state Sen. Steve Henson made the announcement Wednesday.

Henson told the newspaper he wants to focus on personal and business matters, and on helping Democrats gain seats in the Republican-led legislature. He said he didn’t want to be “distracted” by his own election.

Henson has served as minority leader for nine years. He’s served in the Senate since 1991, with a four-year hiatus following a failed run for state labor commissioner in 1998.

Henson’s DeKalb County-based district covers the cities of Stone Mountain and Clarkston and reaches into Gwinnett County.

He faced a close primary challenge in 2018, besting a little-known Democratic challenger by just over 100 votes.

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