"Governor Perdue has been a great friend and mentor for years now, and I have the utmost respect for him. While it was a great honor to be considered for the position of Secretary of State, after much prayer and reflection with my wife and family, I have decided to respectfully withdraw my name from consideration.
For the last six months, my wife Gaylyn and I have been planning to transition out of public service. Over the last several months, I have been exploring many different opportunities at Mercer University that would afford me more time with my young children and at the same time provide exciting career opportunities. We had planned to announce after the legislative session that I would not seek re-election in order to take one of these opportunities at Mercer.
The vacancy of the Secretary of State's office and the Governor's consideration of me for this position has been an unexpected whirlwind. At first, it seemed like the opportunity of a lifetime. Yet, as the emotions of the moment settled down over the weekend, Gaylyn and I thought through this issue carefully and knew that it would be best for our family to continue with our original plan.
This has not been an easy decision. I am profoundly grateful to the Governor for his confidence in me and the opportunities he has given me.
Serving middle Georgia in the House has been a tremendous honor. The future will hold many things, and I hope to return to public life when my most important priority - my children - are well on their way to success in life.
Rep. Jim Cole
Administrative Floor Leader
Georgia House of Representatives
P.O. Box 787
Forsyth, GA 31029"