By Matthew Osborne
Political dominoes are falling all over Northeast Georgia.
With U.S. Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) throwing his hat in the ring for the U.S. Senate, his seat in the House of Representatives will be up for grabs with no incumbent running for the first time since 2012.
Georgia Sen. John Wilkinson wasted no time Wednesday morning, announcing his candidacy for Congress mere hours after Collins made his Senate run official.
“This is a critical time for our country, and we need an experienced, conservative voice willing to stand up for the values that residents of North Georgia hold dear,” Wilkinson said. “For the past eight years in Atlanta, I have fought to eliminate useless red tape and regulation of business, defended the sanctity of all life, and fought for our
constitutional rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment. I look forward to continuing that fight in Washington.”
Wilkinson, who was elected to the State Senate in a special election in 2011 and has been re-elected to 4 additional terms, was raised on a small farm in Stephens County.
Wilkinson has not missed a day of work during his 8 years of service in the Senate.
A native of Toccoa and graduate of Stephens County High School, Wilkinson earned degrees in agriculture and education from the University of Georgia. He has experience as a classroom teacher and served on the State Agricultural Education staff for 26 years.
Wilkinson and his wife Debbie have two children and five grandchildren, and they are active members of Tates Creek Baptist Church.
The 9th Congressional District includes all of Banks, Dawson, Elbert, Fannin, Franklin, Gilmer, Habersham, Hall, Hart, Jackson, Lumpkin, Madison, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union, White and parts of Clarke, Forsyth and Pickens counties.