Two men on Tuesday joined the race to represent the new 9th District in the U.S. House, both of whom seem to be concentrating on jobs in their early campaign rhetoric.
Jackson County Commission Chairman Hunter Bicknell and Clifton McDuffie, former chief executive officer of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, say they'll seek the new House seat, which is anchored in Hall County.
McDuffie touts his background in economic development as his main qualification.
He says his main reason for running is to help bring "more manufacturing and expanded business" to Northeast Georgia.
"Constantly, we are hearing, ‘We need you, Clifton. You always brought major industry and businesses to the area, and we need you to do it again for the whole 9th District,'" McDuffie said in a news release.
McDuffie and his wife Marcia have a daughter, Melissa, and two sons, Mark and Marshall.
He will hold a campaign kickoff event Nov. 17 at the Oakwood Industrial Park South, which he says he helped develop.
Bicknell kicked off his campaign Monday, his campaign announced to The Times on Tuesday.
For three years, Bicknell has served as chairman of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners. He has also served on the Jackson County Water and Sewer Authority and various other advisory committees, including the Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Council.
He is the former vice president of Sperry and Hutchinson Co. and a former president of rental company Sky Access.
"Government has got to get out of the way," Bicknell said. "My intent is to use my broad range of experience to ensure wise decisions are made in Washington to create an environment for economic growth and job development."
Bicknell and his wife Becky have two sons, one daughter and five grandchildren.
He and McDuffie join state Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, and radio host Martha Zoller in the race to be the first to represent Georgia's newest congressional district. Both Collins and Zoller announced their intentions to run in September.
Georgia gained a 14th congressional district with results of the 2010 census. In August, the state legislature redrew Georgia's congressional map, carving the new 9th District out of all or parts of 20 counties in Northeast Georgia.
If the congressional map is approved by the U.S. Department of Justice, the new 9th District will stretch southeast from Fannin and Gilmer counties in the north to Elbert County on the state line with South Carolina.
It takes in parts of Clarke, Forsyth and Pickens counties, with its population anchored in Hall, home base of the current 9th District until Rep. Tom Graves of Ranger was elected last year.