Gov. Sonny Perdue appointed Brian Kemp Secretary of State today, apparently backtracking on reports of his intent to place Rep. Jim Cole in the office.Kemp had been campaigning for Secretary of State for sometime and will seek a full, four-year term next year.Cole will remain in his District 125 house seat and no special election to fill that seat will be held.Cole issued the following statement Monday in which he says he plans to “transition” out of public office.Governor Perdue has been a great friend and mentor for years now, and I have the utmost respect for him. While it was a great honor to be considered for the position of Secretary of State, after much prayer and reflection with my wife and family, I have decided to respectfully withdraw my name from consideration.For the last six months, my wife Gaylyn and I have been planning to transition out of public service. Over the last several months, I have been exploring many different opportunities at Mercer University that would afford me more time with my young children and at the same time provide exciting career opportunities. We had planned to announce after the legislative session that I would not seek re-election in order to take one of these opportunities at Mercer.The vacancy of the Secretary of State’s office and the Governor’s consideration of me for this position has been an unexpected whirlwind. At first, it seemed like the opportunity of a lifetime. Yet, as the emotions of the moment settled down over the weekend, Gaylyn and I thought through this issue carefully and knew that it would be best for our family to continue with our original plan.This has not been an easy decision. I am profoundly grateful to the Governor for his confidence in me and the opportunities he has given me.Serving middle Georgia in the House has been a tremendous honor. The future will hold many things, and I hope to return to public life when my most important priority ‘“ my children ‘“ are well on their way to success in life.