CORRECTION: This story was updated at 11:35 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, to correct the information of the 14th congressional district to state it includes Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Haralson, Murray, Paulding, Polk, Walker, Whitfield and parts of Pickens counties. It had previously stated only parts of Pickens, Polk, Walker and Whitfield counties.
State Rep. Kevin Cooke, R-Carrollton, has announced he will run for Georgia's heavily contested 14th congressional district seat.
Cooke now serves in the state's House of Representatives in District 18. He is the associate athletic director at Shorter University in Rome as well as a farmer and small businessman.
Cooke was first elected to office in 2010.
In his announcement, Cooke said contrary to popular belief, "a giant wave of socialism is not the biggest threat facing our nation, but rather it is the slow drift away from our Constitution allowed for decades by both parties that stands to destroy our country."
He also took a slight shot at his own party, saying conservatives fall for rhetoric every election cycle.
"This is a Republican primary in Georgia. We will all say we want to stop socialism, support our president, protect life, defend the Second Amendment and build the wall," Cooke said. "Talk is cheap. It's no longer enough to send 'conservatives' to Washington, we need proven principled conservatives."
Cooke serves on multiple committees including Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, Appropriations, Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment and Public Safety and Homeland Security, among others.
Marjorie Greene, a business owner in Alpharetta; Clayton Fuller of Lookout Mountain, a special assistant district attorney for Georgia's Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit; John Cowan, a neurosurgeon in Rome; and Ben Bullock of Gwinnett County, a small business owner and U.S. Air Force veteran, are four other candidates who have filed for May's primary.
Congressman Tom Graves, the senior-most Republican in Georgia's House delegation, said earlier this month he will not seek re-election next year, triggering an unexpected battle to represent the deeply conservative district.
The 14th congressional district includes Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Haralson, Murray, Paulding, Polk, Walker, Whitfield and parts of Pickens counties.
Contact Patrick Filbin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6476. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickFilbin.