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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Rep. Stephanie Stuckey Benfield won't seek re-election, will lead eco-legal firm

State Rep. Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, D-Decatur, one of metro Atlanta's smartest Democrats, says she won't seek another term under the Gold Dome. (New political boundaries probably deserve some of the blame.) She'll serve the remainder of her term but in April will become the new executive director of GreenLaw, an Atlanta-based environmental law firm that helps fight some of Georgia's most high-profile eco-battles. Via GreenLaw:

An outdoors enthusiast and nature lover, Benfield has been a vocal environmental advocate during her 14 years as a member of the Georgia House’s Natural Resource Committee. Her commitment to clean water and clean air issues grew even stronger after her son was diagnosed with asthma. “When I learned that Robert has asthma, it really hit home that pollution can hurt our most vulnerable citizens, our children,” said Benfield. “For the past 20 years, GreenLaw has been a leader in protecting Georgians from pollution, and I am excited to be able to focus my attention on cleaning up our air and water for our families.”

“Stephanie was picked from an impressive pool of candidates due to her outstanding legal and public service credentials,” said Greg Presmanes, Chairman of GreenLaw’s Board of Directors. She received both an undergraduate and law degree from the University of Georgia. She graduated cum laude from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1992. Benfield served as a public defender and then went into private practice before being elected to the Georgia General Assembly in 1999. Benfield was given the Outstanding Lawyer in Public Service Award by the Atlanta Bar Association in 2011.

Stuckey Benfield replaces Justine Thompson, the quick-witted and straight-talking attorney who led GreenLaw in a successful 10-year battle against a proposed southwest Georgia coal power plant. She's moving to Florida to be closer to her family but will remain a staff attorney.

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