Georgia Senate President Pro Tempore David Shafer, R-Duluth, pledged to a closed-door session of Senate Republican caucus colleagues last week that he would resign the Senate leadership position whenever he announces his run for lieutenant governor.
Shafer has been eyeing the GOP lieutenant governorship nomination for some time and would be the presumptive front-runner in a primary. But the timing of any such announcement is anyone’s guess. However, in preparation for a statewide race, speculation is that Shafer would have to crank up his campaign sometime this mid-year, especially for fundraising purposes..
When the president pro tem position becomes vacant, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle would schedule a special election and then the whole state Senate would vote on Shafer’s successor. Of course, since the Senate has a GOP majority, the new pro tem will be a Republican. (Current Senate Majority Leader Sen. Bill Cowsert, R-Athens, would be the expected front-runner should he want to run.)
And if Cowsert were to move up to become the Senate’s No. 2 leader as pro tem, that would create a domino effect leaving the majority leader position open.