Two-term state House member Rep. Kevin Levitas (D-Atlanta) announced Friday he will not seek re-election, leaving exactly zero candidates running for House District 82.
Levitas qualified to run again last week, but in a statement Friday said he has changed his mind.
“Given the immense talent and dedication of those in our community, I know that our area and our state will be well-served by my successor,” Levitas said in a statement.
But, no other candidate has qualified to run. So who will represent the DeKalb County district?
That, apparently, is a good question. Nobody seems to know for sure just yet, although several possibilities exist. Primary among them is that someone can petition to run as an independent, which would require collecting signatures from 5 percent of eligible registered voters in the district. With just more than 25,000 registered voters in District 82, it would only require about 1,250 signatures.
That seems the most likely way the seat could be filled.
The Libertarian Party, which chooses its candidates in a convention, did not nominate a candidate for the seat either, although they have until late June to submit their candidates’ names to the Secretary of State.
Another theory is that Levitas could resign his seat rather than hold it through November’s election. His resignation would trigger a special election, although it’s unclear if the winner of that race would be able to serve beyond November, since he or she has not qualified for the general election.
Update 5:10 p.m.: Matt Carrothers, spokesman for Secretary of State Brian Kemp, said the answer is all of the above.
An independent or a third-party candidate can still qualify. Those interested must file a notice of candidacy with Kemp’s office between June 28 and July 2. Independents must then submit their petition signatures by noon July 13.
But, that means no Republican or Democrat will represent the district next year.