State Senator Eric Johnson (R-Savannah) announced today he will seek the Republican nomination for governor in 2010.
Meanwhile, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Savannah) scotched rumors of his own gubernatorial run.
Johnson previously had his hat in the ring for lieutenant governor, but changed plans after current Lt. Governor Casey Cagle's recent decision to run for re-election rather than a planned gubernatorial bid, a move Cagle said was prompted by health concerns over his serious back problems.
"As I traveled the state campaigning and visiting with Georgians from all walks of life, I was thrilled to see the support and encouragement we received in every corner of this state," said Johnson.
"Georgians recognize that we need a steady, tested, and experienced leader to address the challenges we face as a state and to build on the progress we've made under Republican leadership. My vision for our future focuses on how we can create new 21st Century jobs, reform education to improve student achievement, and ensure effective and ethical government. Effective leadership is about trust. I hope to earn the trust of Georgians and the opportunity to serve as their Governor."
Within hours of Johnson's announcement, Kingston weighed in:
“I’m encouraged by Eric Johnson’s announcement. I’ve worked closely with Eric for many years and would be comfortable with his candidacy. Moreover, it would not serve South Georgia to have us splitting the votes," said Kingston via e-mail.
Senator Johnson named Jamie Reynolds as Finance Chairman for the campaign and Steve Green was designated as Finance Co-Chairman. Dave Simons will continue to serve as political advisor.
An architect from Savannah, Senator Eric Johnson has served in the legislature since 1992 and held positions including Senate Minority Leader and President Pro Tempore. Currently he serves as the Chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee.