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Balfour not to seek reelection?

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When ballot qualifying ends noon on Friday, the embattled chairman of the Senate rules committee might not be among those seeking reelection.

Despite building the single-largest campaign warchest of the incumbent class, Republican Sen. Don Balfour has yet to land his spot on the July 31 primary ballot, the Secretary of State’s candidate registry shows.

A source tells Tipsheet the senator is awol from the Capitol, even as he has less than 1 hour to qualify. Developing…

UPDATE: The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Aaron Gould Sheinin reports on Twitter that Balfour is now on the Capitol.

— Aaron Gould Sheinin (@asheinin) May 25, 2012

UPDATE II: With just forty minutes left on the clock before the qualifying period closed, Balfour filed for reelection Friday.

He’ll square off in July’s primary contest with Republicans Travis Bowden, a retread from two year’s earlier, and Steve Ramey. If he earns the nod, as is expected, Democrat Scott Drake will stand opposite him this fall.

UDATE III: Balfour announced at the time of his qualifying today he would sign the lobbyist gift cap pledge championed, curiously, by the same activists who have charged the senator with improperly seeking state reimbursements for lobbyist-funded junkets.

In spite of his new pledge to support gift cap, Tipsheet sources wonder if the Snellville lawmaker will make good by letting the measure pass his committee. Only time–or a heavy hand by those groups promoting the ceiling–will tell.

- James Richardson