Rep. Austin Scott (R-Tifton) will challenge U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall (D-Ga.) in the 8th congressional district, eschewing a bid for governor.
Scott has been one of several candidates seeking the GOP nomination for governor but has been unable to attract the money of many of the other top contenders.
While a rumor surfaced in the past two weeks that he would challenge incumbent Republican Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle instead, Scott confirmed to the AJC on Thursday that he will qualify to run for Congress.
Scott will hold a news conference at 10 a.m. Friday at the Capitol to discuss his decision and to qualify for the bid.
Marshall’s position as a Democrat in a central Georgia district that has a trend line toward the right has made him a popular target for state and national Republicans. In a campaign season where the GOP has good reason to be optimistic they can reclaim the U.S. House.
Marshall barely held on to his seat in 2006, when he took 50.5 percent of the vote. But he rebounded in 2008 with more than 57 percent.
Scott jumps from one crowded primary to another. Four other Republicans are already running for the privilege of challenging Marshall, who has no announced Democratic opposition. Among the candidates, however, only Scott has held elected office before and he will likely be considered the front-runner for the nomination.
The other announced candidates are Diane Vann, a Macon nurse, Angela Hicks, a Macon business woman, Ken DeLoach, a Warner Robins teacher and minister and Paul Rish, the former head of the Bibb County Republican Party.
More to come …