State Rep. Micah Gravley has announced that he will not seek another term in the Georgia House of Representatives.
Gravley, a Douglasville Republican, was first elected in 2012 to serve the 67th House District covering parts of Douglas and Paulding counties. He called serving in the Legislature “the highest honor of my professional career.”
Gravley said he had made the decision several months ago not to run for a sixth term this year and had made public comments letting people know of his decision in September at an event in Paulding.
However, it was a post to Facebook on Sunday sharing a memory from three years ago of being elected vice chairman of the House Republican Caucus and mentioning the upcoming 2022 session of the General Assembly being his last that seemed to catch many by surprise.
He cited family as the main reason he’s stepping aside, noting that it’s no secret to many that he has been spending a lot of time coaching his daughters’ softball teams.
“I’ll have a freshman in high school next year and our schedules are getting busier with them,” Gravley said. “I was a dad long before I was ever an elected official.”
During the redistricting process last year, much of the 67th House District was drawn into the 64th House District.
Gravley said that under the new maps his house in south Paulding is actually just inside the lines of the 19th District represented by fellow Republican Rep. Joseph Gullett. But he stressed that the maps played no part in his decision not to run again.
“There is a tremendous amount of qualified, strong, conservative Republicans that would really serve this district well — the new District 64, which is the majority of the old House District 67,” he said. “I think it’s time for those people to step up. And it’s time for those people to have the opportunity to serve.”
Gravley said he takes pride in the fact that he ran unopposed for most of his decade-long run in the Legislature.
After winning the seat in 2012, the only opponent he drew was two years ago when Democrat Angela Mayfield reportedly raised $200,000 in her attempt to unseat him. Gravley wound up defeating Mayfield by 24 points in the 2020 general election.
“She did more to hurt her campaign than I did,” Gravley said. “I never saw her as a threat. It was something I think that the Democrats both at the national level and state level tried to find people they thought were vulnerable because of the Heartbeat Bill. And I think they were sorely mistaken when it came to House District 67.”
Gravley co-sponsored the Heartbeat Bill — which would prohibit most abortions once doctors can discern a fetal heartbeat — and counts it among the legislation he is most proud of.
The first bill Gravley carried in the House nine years ago had its roots in Douglas County. The legislation, championed by longtime Douglas County E-911 Director Greg Whitaker, came after the 2009 floods and limited access to 911 calls where a person dies or a minor is involved. The legislation became law in 2014.
Other legislation Gravley is proud of includes adding cancer as a condition covered by a firefighter’s workman’s compensation and legalizing medical cannabis.
Gravley said that while his “identity is in Christ,” being a legislator is part of who he is. And he admits that when the year ends and he’s no longer in the General Assembly it will be a big change.
“Any type of change is always kind of nervous, but also exciting and can be fearful a little bit,” he said. “But we’re just trusting the Lord and looking back over all the good times and all the friends we’ve made and all the things we were able to get accomplished.”