Former mayor drops out of state senate race

BRASELTON -- Braselton's former mayor has dropped out of a race for state Senate.

Pat Graham, who did not seek re-election as mayor last year to pursue the Senate District 47 seat, said she will not qualify for the office next week so she can devote more time to her aging parents.

"Declining health issues have affected them in the past few months, and although they live in an adjoining state, I am the closest child to attend to their needs. Medical information received last week leaves no doubt that my parents need my time, support and assistance now," Graham said in a statement. "Family has always come first."

District 47 includes Barrow, Madison, Oglethorpe and parts of Jackson, Clarke and Elbert counties. Incumbent Ralph Hudgens is running for insurance commissioner.

"I am thankful to all of my campaign supporters who worked tirelessly on my behalf," Graham said. "I am truly humbled by the support throughout the campaign and wish the best to the remaining candidates.

"I am a competitor, as many have come to know; however, competing against life-challenging health and aging issues will take my full energies. That is what my parents deserve."