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State Senator to run for Lt. Governor
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    In an email circulated Thursday afternoon, state Senate President Pro Tempore Eric Johnson announced that in December he would step down from the leardership position.
    "It has been my honor to serve as the minority leader for four years and the president pro tempore for six wonderful years," he said. "During this time, we elected a Republican governor, gained and expanded our majority in the Senate, won a critical redistricting case, and helped our allies in the House achieve a majority as well."
    Johnson, who represents Bryan, Chatham and Liberty counties, also announced his intention to run for lieutenant governor if Casey Cagle steps down from that post to run for governor in 2010.
    "I intend to pour every ounce of energy, experience and enthusiasm that I have into my candidacy," the Savannah architect said.
    The role of lieutenant governor is one that he is already familiar with. Elected pro tem in 2003, Johnson served as the de facto lieutenant governor until Cagle was elected three years later. The two politicians developed a strong working relationship and, Johnson said, "I am proud of the work we have done as a team."
    Ted Harris, chairman of the Liberty County Republican Executive Committee and colleague of Johnson, said, "I think it's a good move for Eric. He's been a great steward for Liberty County and I think he'll do great things as lieutenant governor."
    Harris thinks that if Johnson were to attain the new, higher position, he would be able to benefit Liberty County to an even greater extent.
    "He would have more influence over the county, of course," Harris said. "His power would be enhanced."

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