Lee Anderson, a Republican state representative and lifelong Columbia County resident, announced Monday that he will run for U.S. House in Georgia’s redrawn 12th District, now represented by Democrat John Barrow.
In a news release Monday, Anderson said he filed paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission to run in the district, which takes in most of Columbia County, all of Richmond County and extends south to Effingham County just north of Savannah.
“I believe we have a great opportunity here,” Anderson said in a telephone interview. “Almost 50 percent of the population in the district is right here in the Columbia County and Augusta area.”
Anderson is a farmer and businessman who previously served on the Columbia County Board of Education and Columbia County Commission before his election to the state House in 2008. He said he believes that previous service, along with his ties to the farming community, give him an edge in the race.
Anderson could be one of several Republicans seeking the previously Democrat-leaning seat, which after redistricting has a roughly 58 percent Republican voter registration.
Rick Allen, the chairman and CEO of RW Allen Construction, acknowledged he intends to seek the seat.
“I’m not official, but I’m in the race,” he said in an interview Monday. Allen is the brother of County Commissioner Charles Allen.
Former U.S. Rep. Max Burns, whom Barrow defeated for the post in 2006, has also been mentioned as a candidate.
Barrow has said he intends to seek re-election.