By Walter Jones
ATLANTA – Former gubernatorial nominee Jason Carter said Wednesday he hasn’t made up his mind about running for office again.
The former Democratic state senator from Atlanta addressed reporters and guests during a luncheon at the Atlanta Press Club in his new role as the chairman of the Carter Center his grandfather Jimmy Carter founded in 1992.
Jason Carter said with children ages 7 and 9, now might not be a convenient time for him to run, noting he would be 43 years old in the 2018 election cycle.
“That’s still young for a politician. I don’t feel any rush,” he said.
Carter lost last year’s election to Gov. Nathan Deal, the Republican nominee and incumbent 53 percent to 45 percent. Another 2 percent went to Libertarian Andrew Hunt.
Asked if he could run for political office while serving as Carter Center chairman, he said he’d have to research it.
“Throughout my career, I’ve always avoided conflicts of interest,” he said.
It was his grandfather’s political defeat in seeking a second term as U.S. president that led to the founding of the Carter Center. The former president announced during a news conference this summer that he had been diagnosed with cancer and that Jason Carter would take over as the center’s new chairman.
The foundation has projects in 36 countries working on election monitoring and the eradication of river blindness and guinea worms.
Going forward, the younger Carter said the center would focus on what it is good at and expand on relationships it already has in various countries abroad.
While most of its activity has focused on elections and healthcare, he said new areas he is interested in pursuing include access to information, particularly as a way to empower women, and the generation of electricity in poor, rural areas of developing countries.
“You will see a great expanding over the short term and the long term of the Carter Center’s program with respect to women,” he said. “You will see a great expanding of the Carter Center’s program with respect to access to information. And by the way, those are related.”
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