Allen, who is founder, president and CEO of RW Allen & Associates Construction Co., made the announcement through an e-mailed press release declaring that he had filed the necessary paperwork to run for the seat, which includes all of Richmond and most of Columbia counties and runs south to Effingham County.
In a telephone interview, Allen said he’s running as a Republican for the seat. He’ll face Lee Anderson, a Columbia County resident and state representative who previously declared his intention to run.
The winner likely will face incumbent Democrat John Barrow, whose home was drawn out of the seat during redistricting but who has said he intends to move into the new district.
“Obviously, everybody needs to be going after Barrow,” Allen said. “He’s the target.”
Allen, who had been discussing a run for the office for several weeks, acknowledged a delay in his announcement since he made his decision to run Aug. 24.
“You have to file tons of paperwork to do this,” he said. “When you’re a businessman, you’ve got to make sure all the i’s are dotted and the t’s crossed.”
A Columbia County native who now lives in Augusta, Allen, 60, is an Auburn University graduate with a degree in building construction. He has operated RW Allen & Associates, a commercial construction company, since 1976 and is a current and former member of numerous boards and organizations in the Augusta area.
“We’ve got to change the direction of this country,” Allen said. “We’ve got to get the government off the backs of the small business people.”
Allen said his first campaign event will be a fundraiser at a private Augusta home on Dec. 8.