Democratic candidate Courtney Dillard along with Republican candidates Catherine Davis and Chris Vaughn have confirmed they will run for the fourth congressional district, making the race to capitol a competitive one.
"I want to be your new Congressman," he wrote in a prior prepared statement. "In 2012 we have the opportunity to promote a new beginning, new purpose, new people and a new emerging congressional district in America...I believe we share the same values and desire many of the same qualities of life. That's why I'm stepping up to the challenge.
Some of the brightest and the best people in Georgia live, work and do business in the fourth district."
Dillard previously ran for a county commission seat in Rockdale County in 2010, winning the Democratic primary but
losing the general election against incumbent Commissioner JaNice Van Ness, who received about 53 percent to Dillard's 47 percent.
Dillard ran an exploratory campaign for a few months before deciding to commit to a congressional run.
The seat is currently held by Congressman Hank Johnson, D-Lithonia.
"There is a better way to create jobs, expand opportunities for the district," he said previously. "My decision to explore candidacy is grounded in my deep commitment to God, our great nation, our people and strong desire to create a powerful, prosperous fourth congressional district.
Davis, a former Human Resources manager with Sprint and currently a speaker with the pro-life Restoration Project, first ran for this seat as a Republican in 2006, losing against Cynthia McKinney, and again in 2008, against Hank Johnson in the strongly Democratic district.
She said one of the reasons she wanted to run again was because of the redistricting effective July 31. "With the redrawn lines it feels like it is a brand-new district," Davis said.
She said she is not the typical politician who works her way up through the ranks and wants to bringing new leadership to the Fourth District.
"We have an opportunity to use this position in a leadership capacity to improve this district and bring change," Davis explained. "I want to work on new solutions to age-old problems. Unfortunately our government seems to be working very much against the family with lack of action," Davis said.
Davis is a strongly pro-life and pro-family candidate whose priorities are to preserve the Constitution and the first amendment while focusing on improving education, promoting the Fair Tax, job growth and reducing social dependency.
"I will work to make sure the Fourth District is a safe place to be and where other people want to live since it will have a reputation for being safe. I will look at what can we do to reduce the instances of crime and how can we attract new businesses to the district. We have to come together to make it better for businesses to move into."
Vaughn, 45, has been the senior pastor of The Landing church since 2008 and has lived in Rockdale County in the
Meadowbrook subdivision since 2002. This will be his first time running for elected office.
"I want my children to have a better life than me," Vaughn said, after attending the annual Rockdale NAACP and Chamber of Commerce MLK Breakfast. "I want to leave an inheritance and I don't think that's where we're going right now. Not nationally, not in our districts."
Although he has no prior experience in public office or government, he said his background as a senior pastor gives him relevant experience.
"I'm constantly dealing with people who want to do it the old way versus the new way," he said. "It's always trying to bring some level of agreement to the table."
"I've always been passionate about politics," he added. When he lived in North Carolina, he hosted a political and local talk radio show. He counts among his friends and congregants Henry County leaders, including Henry County Commission Chairman BJ Mathis, who is also on the Atlanta Regional Transportation Roundtable Executive Committee.
"I don't think we have an income issue, I think we have a spending issue."
Vaughn, of no known relation to the late Judge Clarence Vaughn, was looking at proposed redistricting maps one night last fall when he felt what he described as a calling.
"It's still considered a strongly Democratic district. But I still had something come over me, speak to me, to affect change."