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Georgia State House District 1 candidate Colton Moore talks with people before a debate at Dade County Public Library on Thursday, April 19, 2018, in Trenton, Ga. Multiple candidates across several races were in attendance for the forum, which precedes the May 22 primary election.

In a surprising announcement that will shake up the political landscape in Northwest Georgia, Rep. Colton Moore, R-Trenton, announced he will not run for reelection in House District 1.

In an announcement released Sunday night, Moore said, "politics should never be a profession and public office should never be a career."

"In my career and in politics, I have concluded my time, resources and treasure are not best suited for serving in the Georgia House of Representatives," he said in a statement. "Elected office is a heavy burden, but a great honor. Freedom and liberty are not free, the price must be paid for every generation."

Moore added he will always be humbled by his voters' confidence in him to serve, and he believes Georgia is better off today than two years ago.

"I hope you will find I have served diligently and with integrity," he said. "The unborn have a better chance at life, our debt has been acknowledged, and the problems of overregulating teachers [are] now common discussion amongst lawmakers."

Moore said he made his tough decision after weeks of careful thought and prayer.

Carried by his hometown, the then-24-year-old Moore joined the Georgia Legislature after he beat incumbent state Rep. John Deffenbaugh, R-Lookout Mountain, 2,184 votes to 1,858 in the state House District 1 Republican primary in May 2018.

Moore, an auctioneer, was born and raised on Lookout Mountain with a large extended family. He doubled Deffenbaugh's votes in his home county, 1,436-721. Deffenbaugh beat him in Walker County, but not by enough: 1,137-748.

Moore made a name for himself as a young up-and-comer hungry to make changes in the Legislature, and was one of a handful of lawmakers who called for House Speaker David Ralston's resignation after allegations that Ralston continually used his work as a lawmaker to push back trial dates, sometimes in cases involving allegations of violent crimes.

In September 2019, Deffenbaugh announced he was running again for the District 1 seat he held from 2013 to 2018.

District 1 includes Dade and Walker counties.

In his announcement, Deffenbaugh said that in his six years serving Georgia, he "earnestly sought to develop positive relationships with the leadership, including the Senate, the Governor, and with many of the members of the House."

The primary election is May 19, 2020.

Contact Patrick Filbin at pfilbin@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6476. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickFilbin.

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