Georgia Labor Commissioner Bruce Thompson says he has pancreatic cancer

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ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s labor commissioner says he is seriously ill with cancer.

Republican Bruce Thompson said in a written statement Friday that he was suddenly diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, which has spread to his liver.

Thompson, who received the diagnosis on Tuesday, said he was awaiting further information, including “a final prognosis for chemotherapy.”

The first-term Republican said he would continue his work as labor commissioner.

“I can assure you I will continue to be who I have always been — a fighter,” Thompson said in the statement. “From the start, my life has been full of what seem like insurmountable challenges, but I’ve never given up and this farm boy from Montana doesn’t intend to start now.”

Thompson was first elected to the state Senate in December 2013 and was reelected four times. He easily won a Republican primary for labor commissioner in 2022 before defeating Democrat William Boddie and libertarian Emily Anderson in the general election.

Thompson is an Army veteran who founded a pair of automatic swimming pool cover businesses, an insurance agency, an insurance software company and a commercial development company. His record in the General Assembly was marked by opposition to abortion and advocacy for adoption.

He ran for labor commissioner on a platform of improving the effectiveness of the agency after the previous commissioner came under heavy criticism when the state’s unemployment claim system was overwhelmed during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. Georgia’s Department of Labor administers unemployment insurance and helps place job seekers.