The field in the Republican primary race for the seat of U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., has grown to four.
On Wednesday, former Georgia Senate Majority Leader Bill Stephens announced he will run.
"North Georgia deserves a member of Congress who knows them, will represent their interests and knows how to take on the power structure and win," the Cumming Republican said in a statement.
The news release announcing Mr. Stephens' candidacy included a list of prominent Georgia political figures, including former governor and U.S. Sen. Zell Miller, D-Ga., who will serve on the campaign's regional finance committees.
Mr. Stephens lost a bid for Georgia secretary of state in 2006.
Other GOP candidates for the 9th District U.S. House seat are state Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger; former state Rep. Mike Evans, R-Cumming, and Whitfield County District 1 Commissioner Mike Cowan.
Rep. Deal will not seek re-election to the House next year because he is running for governor.
Martin Matheny, spokesman for the Georgia Democratic Party, said no Democrats have announced their candidacy for the seat.
"It's a tough race," he said.
Mr. Matheny said Democrats hope to have one good candidate who can benefit from the four GOP candidates "beating up on each other" in the primary.
Georgia's 9th Congressional District includes all of Catoosa, Dade, Dawson, Fannin, Gilmer, Hall, Lumpkin, Murray, Pickens, Union, Walker, White and Whitfield counties and portions of Forsyth and Gordon counties.