Candidates step up to vie for seat being vacated by Northwest Georgia Sen. Jeff Mullis

Staff file photo by Robin Rudd / State Sen. Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, has championed legislation that would change the governance of high school sports in Georgia and have a major impact on the GHSA.

Two candidates have stepped forward to run for the Georgia state Senate District 53 seat being vacated by Sen. Jeff Mullis, and another is weighing his options.

Mullis surprised many when he announced Monday he wasn't seeking re-election to the seat he's held for 22 years. In a written statement, Mullis said he made the decision after recovering from Achilles tendon surgery and watching his children step into the next phases of their lives. He said he'll be spending more time with friends and family when his term ends.

So far, the only candidates who have qualified are Republicans Colton Moore and Steven Henry. Candidates have until noon Friday to qualify to run for the position that represents several counties in Northwest Georgia. The window to qualify opened Monday.

As a candidate for state Senate, Moore said he wants to bring principle back to the seat - because he said he thinks Mullis has operated as a transactional elected official.