State Sen. Butch Miller, a Gainesville Republican, confirmed on his Facebook page late Monday night he will seek the Senate majority leader post for next year’s General Assembly session.
“After prayerful consideration and the support of both my family and a number of my fellow Senators, I have, with great humility, decided to stand for Majority Leader in the Georgia State Senate,” Miller wrote. “Between now and Election Day, 100% of my political effort will be focused on helping to elect David Perdue to the U.S. Senate and, of course, to help re-elect Governor Nathan Deal, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, and our entire statewide Georgia Republican ticket.”
News of Miller’s intentions to seek the leadership role was first reported by Atlanta Jounal-Constitution political blogger Jim Galloway.
But, in an interview with The Times, Miller said he never intended for the news to get out this soon.
“The guy who sent this to Jim Galloway thought he was helping me,” he said. “No one was leaking to him on my behalf.”
Miller said he would begin working in earnest to garner support from fellow lawmakers once this year’s elections conclude.
“I was compelled to respond,” he said. “It’s August. It’s too early to be talking about these kinds of things. We should focus on the job at hand. And the job at hand is getting the governor and lieutenant governor and U.S. senator elected.”
The leadership post was vacated by Sen. Ronnie Chance of Tyrone, who did not seek re-election.
Miller is running unopposed for his third term in the Senate. He was first elected in 2010.
“Assuming that I’d be nominated ... I would be honored to serve, and that’s what I’d like to do, frankly,” he added.
The Senate majority leader, in many ways, acts as the party spokesman, cheerleading for causes and rallying support among lawmakers to get bills passed or defeated.
Rep. Carl Rogers, R-Gainesville, said Miller is a good communicator who can bring the state Republican Party together.
“I think he’s definitely the right guy,” he added. “Butch has got the attitude and the knowledge to get along with people and make it work ... which is always needed. You call it leadership, and he’s definitely a leader.”
One other name to emerge for the post is Sen. Josh Mc- Koon, R-Columbus.