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Thursday, June 20, 2013

State Rep. Brian Thomas resigns to pursue job in Maine

Georgia will lose one of its most promising Democratic lawmakers to the great state of... Maine.

State Rep. Brian Thomas, D-Lilburn, today announced that he'll resign from office effective July 1. He'll be headed up to Lamoine, a quaint coastal town with a population of approximately 1,500 residents, where he will work as the new National Director of Cultural Resources Services for Natural Resources Group.

The Gwinnett County lawmaker, who has served under the Gold Dome since 2005, said in a statement that it was an "honor to serve my constituents and the residents of Georgia." House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams of Atlanta called Thomas an "environmental leader, an education advocate and a leader within the Democratic Party."

Back in April, CL recognized Thomas' work with one of our prestigious Arnie Awards. In giving him the "Scholar and a Gentleman" Award, we wrote:

During the "bed tax" debate, Thomas chastised fellow lawmakers for sidestepping tough issues that could invite political criticism - and which caused the governor to circumvent both chambers. "This approach to find the funding is somewhat of an indictment of the General Assembly's willingness to do its job," Thomas scolded. The Lilburn archaeologist noted that a bill which would allow parents to request that their local public school be turned into a charter school merely "danced around the edges" of a larger problem: Georgia's refusal to adequately fund education. When Thomas makes his stand, he usually offers an important insight that strikes at the heart of the issue - something all lawmakers should do more often.

Yes, he's an archaeologist. And a lawyer. And a U.S. Army veteran. And he will surely be missed by his liberal cohorts. But don't worry too much about his seat turning red - House District 100 has predominantly voted for Democrats in recent years.

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