VALDOSTA -- Sen. Tim Golden, D-Valdosta, announced Tuesday that he will run for re-election.

Golden announced he would not run again in November, stating he wanted to spend more time with his family and at his business, Beacon Hill Financial. On April 7, Golden said he wanted some "of that good South Georgia air to clear his head first."

Golden said Tuesday that he and his wife had received many phone calls and emails asking Golden to run again. Golden also said people had been telling his wife he should run.

"So many people have come to us, asking me to run again," Golden said. "It's wonderful to know that the people you are trying to serve think so highly of you."

Golden said the 2003-04 legislative session's time flexibility helped to make his final decision.

"I was worried about not being able to spend as much time with my son and my wife, but this session was very family friendly, allowing me to come home and see my family," he said. "My wife, as well as my son at times, were able to come up and visit with me, making it easier to spend time with them."

Golden also said that with 20-plus seats in the Senate opening up, he was worried that less middle-ground people would fill those seats. He also said the redistricting maps also made a difference.

"I am all about voting based on policy rather than politics, and I see too much politicking, especially this session, going on," he said. "I worry that the needs of the people will not be heard if so many new people come in. Plus, Ron (Borders), Ellis (Black), Jay (Shaw) and I get along so well, we want to keep our team together."

Golden said he is not worried that people may see him as indecisive.

"I'm sure that people understand, because circumstances change," he said. "My family supports me, and I have two great partners who do so well at my business. Plus, I felt guilty with my first decision for leaving the community."

Golden just finished his 14th year as a member of the Georgia General Assembly -- eight years in the House and six in the Senate. Golden is also a member of the Senate Appropriations and Insurance and Labor Committees. He also serves on the Senate Higher Education and Science and Technology as well as the vice chairman of the Interstate Cooperation Committee. Golden's district is 8, which serves Lowndes, Brooks, Cook and Thomas counties.

With Golden's announcement to run, Rep. Ron Borders, D-Valdosta, decided to step out of the Senate race and run for his current seat in the 177th district.

"I wouldn't run against Tim," Borders said. "When I announced I was running for his seat, people started calling, telling me to tell Tim to stay in the Senate and for me to stay in the House. Plus, I like serving in the House better. I just thought that someone should be in that seat who had experience with the House and local governments."

Borders said he was proud of how the session went, especially the bill saving $33 million on gas taxes and the $16.8 million that was awarded to Valdosta Technical College.

Borders was elected to the House in 1998. He is the current secretary of the House Ways and Means Committee as well a member of the Banks and Banking Committee and the Higher Education Committee.

Borders also said he and Golden were friends and was glad Golden decided to run again.

To contact reporter Michelle Taylor, please call 229-244-3400, ext. 245.

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