One of the potential candidates considering a run for the District 129 Georgia House seat said Wednesday morning he will not enter the race.
Retired Realtor Ted Land, 72, served in the Georgia Senate from 1979 to 1990 and on Columbus Council for 2 1/2 years in the mid-1990s. He said earlier this week it was a “distinct possibility” he would run.
Health concerns have forced Land to reconsider. He said he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and will undergo radiation treatment at the John B. Amos Cancer Center.
"I found out few days ago," Land said. "I asked the doctors questions that told me I really ought not to make this race because I would not be able to give it my best effort."
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The race for the seat vacated by Vance Smith's appointment as commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation has drawn a lot of interest.
Those who have announced candidacy are:
• Muscogee County Republican party activist and a financial representative with Northwestern Mutual Financial Network Colin Martin.
• Publication consultant and a former radio and television talk-show host Jerry Luquire.
• Pine Mountain salon owner Steve Earles.
• Former state representative Earl Davis, a Harris County businessman who last served in the General Assembly 35 years ago.
Those who have confirmed they are considering a run are:
• Kip Smith, the 27-year-old son of state Rep. Vance Smith, said he is “seriously considering” running for the office.
• John Pezold, the 29-year-old son of local entrepreneur Jack Pezold, said he will make a decision in the next week.
Land said the he is glad the voters will have choices.
"It looks like there are some pretty good candidates stepping forward, and that was important," Land said.
District 129 includes parts of Muscogee, Harris and Troup counties.
A special election will be held to fill the term.
The election likely will be this fall. State law requires the governor to call for the election, and then the Georgia secretary of state must set qualifying dates.