On Thursday, May 22, Republican State Sen. Cecil Staton (District 18) officially announced that he is resigning from the Georgia Senate which will be effective at the end of the month.
Staton has accepted a position as vice chancellor for Extended Education at the University of Georgia.
Staton had represented State Senate 18 for five two-year terms and had been the Majority Whip in the Georgia State Senate.
State Senate 18 is a conservative-leaning district that encompasses six counties which include western Bibb (Macon and Lizella), parts of Houston County including the city of Centerville, Crawford (Roberta), Upson (Thomaston), Monroe (Forsyth) and Peach (Fort Valley/Byron).
Staton had already announced in February he was not running for another term and on May 20, Republican John F. Kennedy defeated Thomaston's Spencer Price in the May 20 primary.
Staton, a conservative Republican from neighboring Monroe County, was instrumental in helping to reconstruct Macon-Bibb government via HB-1171 -- the consolidation referendum-- along with leading the effort to have non-partisan elections.
In early January 2013, Staton and first-term State Sen. Bert Jones, signed off on non-partisan legislation --SB25, SB26, SB27, SB29 SB30, SB31, SB32-- in an effort to establish non-partisan municipal elections for the Macon-Bibb consolidated government.
The measure passed on January 29, 2013 with a 34-15 party-line vote in the Georgia Senate. After clearing the Georgia House with the rubber stamp of North Bibb Republican Allen Peake and fellow Republicans via a affirmative vote, the push began to get it signed into law.
By mid-February, Republican governor Nathan Deal quickly signed the legislation into law.
However, the Bibb County Democratic Party responded with a correspondence to the Justice Department and cited the effort to pass non-partisan legislation--led by Rep. Allen Peake and State Sen. Cecil Staton-- as a “veiled attempt to thwart democracy” by diluting minority voting.
Staton said the following to WMAZ-TV in January 2013: "We made it very clear that this was something we would want to do as soon as we possibly could, and with the change in the delegation this year, we were able to do it through local legislation. So, I have no apologies to offer for this."