Republican Rep. Nathan Deal is leaving Congress to concentrate on his previously announced race for governor of Georgia.
The 67-year-old held a news conference on Monday to announce his resignation, effective next Monday.
Deal represents the mountainous 9th District in north Georgia. He served in the Georgia Legislature as a Democrat and was elected to Congress in 1992 before switching to the GOP in 1995.
There are six other Republicans and five Democrats in the race to succeed Gov. Sonny Perdue in November. Perdue cannot seek a third term.
Deal entered the governor's race last spring, saying his biggest challenge would be boosting name recognition statewide. He is also dealing with two Congressional ethics investigations of his business contracts with the state.
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