ATLANTA, Ga. -- "I'm nervous about it. Do I really want to do this?" Glenn Richardson admits there were moments over the weekend, when he doubted whether he was making the right decision. But in an interview at 11 Alive's midtown studios, he announced his decision.
"I'm going to run. I'm going to offer myself and ask the people to give me a second chance."
Almost three years after he resigned in disgrace, former Speaker of the House Glenn Richardson is aiming for a comeback.
When 11Alive's Jaye Watson spoke with Richardson at his Paulding County farm almost a year ago, he said he was still healing.
He had admitted to an affair with a lobbyist, he had divorced, and he had tried to commit suicide -- all of which led to him resigning his powerful position just before Christmas almost three years ago. And at his farm, Watson asked him if he would run for office again.
"I didn't think you were going to ask that but here's what I'll say, probably not, almost certainly not." When Watson said that left an opening, Richardson had replied, "You know why, you should never foreclose anything. I think if I had another chance I'd know what to do. But I'm not going to get another chance. I'm going to take what I've got and go forward with this life as I have it."
But then something happened that Richardson felt was a sign. Governor Deal announced last week that he is appointing State Senator Bill Hamrick to a judgeship. That leaves a vacancy in District 30, where Richardson lives.
"I said I wouldn't do it again, but it seemingly dropped right at my feet and I believe it's a chance for me to step up and at least try."
Richardson said the blogosphere has already exploded -- people weighing in on him running for office, and many of comments have been less than kind.
"What's amazing to me is that people make up things. I did some bad things but the things that people now say, I go where did that come from?"
As for how he can convince voters he is mentally stable and wouldn't attempt suicide again, Richardson says, "I think you just look at them and tell them, 'I'm a human being. I come with strengths and weaknesses and I'm going to do the best I can.' I would tell people I feel good. I don't feel depressed. I don't think about suicide and I think about trying to help people."
Richardson says he had a private meeting with the Governor Deal at the capitol last week. He says Deal was concerned about him personally, about if he could handle it. Richardson says he gold the governor he was ready.
Richardson says it was the first time he set foot inside the capitol since he resigned 2 years and 9 months ago. He says it was 'gutwrenching' to return. He also said it was humorous and humbling.
"The state trooper had no idea who I was, I had to take off my watch, take everything out of my pockets, and I told him "I used to walk around this thing."
Many people thought Richardson was destined to be governor. But that was before his personal life was laid bare. Now he's hoping to get back under the dome, the place where he rose, and then fell, from power.
"I'll let the people decide. I'm here, I'm raising my hand, making an application for a job. If they want to give me a second chance they will and if they don't I'm ok with that as well.