Dr. Chris Cates announced Monday that he will no longer actively campaign for the 9th district congressional seat this year but will serve if voters elect him.
“There has been a lot of money spent in this 9th District congressional race and I’m not going to try to outspend the other people in order to win,” the heart doctor said in a statement released to the AJC Monday.
“I hope I’ve clearly articulated my position on the issues of concern for the citizens of the 9th District and I’ll continue to fight for them in public and in private. At some point, I’ll find a way to help and serve the people of North Georgia in the future.”
Cates placed fourth in a special election for the 9th district seat earlier this year with 11.8 percent of the vote, behind Tom Graves, Lee Hawkins and Steve Tarvin. Graves defeated Hawkins in a June 8 special election runoff to replace U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal in the 9th congressional district. Deal resigned to focus on his gubernatorial campaign. Deal’s former district includes parts of Forsyth and Gordon counties, as well as all of Catoosa, Dade, Dawson, Fannin, Gilmer, Hall, Lumpkin, Murray, Pickens, Union, Walker, White and Whitfield counties.
Cates, Graves, Hawkins, Tarvin and Bobby Reese are now competing in the July 20 primary for the next term in office. Bert Loftman and Bill Stephens have withdrawn from the race, but their names will still appear on the GOP primary ballot. No Democrats have qualified to get on the ballot.