MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — Georgia House District 145 Rep. E. Culver "Rusty" Kidd (I-Milledgeville) has decided not to run for re-election in November to seek a fourth term.
Kidd has held the seat in the Georgia House of Representatives since 2009. He is the only independent in the state legislature.
"A lot of people here in town and in Atlanta both know that I've had some health-related problems the last few years due to my accident back in 1999," said Kidd in an interview with The Union-Recorder Wednesday afternoon. "So what I'm going to do is not run for office and try to take care of those health problems."
Kidd said that the time spent campaigning for the November election and working on legislation in the event of his victory would be better spent visiting his doctors around the country and focusing on getting healthy.
"To me, if can't do the job at 100 percent then I don't want to do it. I feel like I'm letting my constituents down if I can't do the job at 100 percent because that's what I demand of myself. Right now I think the best thing for me to do is to go ahead and drop out of the race."
The race for the District 145 seat in November now comes down to democrat Floyd L. Griffin Jr., a local businessman and former state senator and mayor of Milledgeville, and republican Rick Williams, also a local businessman.
Kidd said he is not ready to endorse either candidate at this time, but that he could make a decision on endorsing sometime in the near future.
"I'm not endorsing anyone at this time. This is strictly a decision that I made with my family about not running now and trying to get some relief. In another month I might endorse a candidate. Right now it's just strictly about making the decision that I wasn't going to run."
Kidd did not rule out the possibility of running for office again in the future if his health improves.
"Who knows, if I get [my health problems] taken care of you're liable to see me run for something else one of these days."
Kidd added that his door will always be open to his successor, and that his experience would be an asset to the winner of the race.
"I'll work behind the scenes the best I can to help whoever's elected to replace me. Nobody under the gold dome has been there as long as I have. I first started lobbying in 1972, and so I was a lobbyist for 38 years before I ran for office. That's 45 years in the capitol and nobody up there has been there 45 years."
Politics runs deep in Kidd’s family. His grandfather and father both served many years in the state legislature. His sister, the late Tillie Kidd Fowler, served in U.S. Congress for eight years.
Kidd added that he is appreciative of those that helped get him elected into office.
"I've enjoyed serving the people. I've been honored to serve the people and been honored to be their vote of confidence and support over the last 7-8 years. … It's just been an honor to be elected. When I was first elected back in 2009 for the vacated seat left by Rep. [Bobby] Parham when he stepped down to run for the DOT board. It's been an honor to serve, and I think hopefully I've done so in the way that people respect and the integrity that I hopefully had and the honesty about the job and so forth."