Georgia 7th: John Eaves prepares a bid for Congress

Former Fulton County Commission chair John Eaves has moved up I-85 to Gwinnett – and he’s preparing to run for the U.S. House in his new district.

The Democrat filed paperwork over the weekend declaring his candidacy for the 7th District seat soon to be vacated by Republican Rep. Rob Woodall, and he said he'll formally announce his campaign within days.

Eaves will join a growing field competing for the seat, which last year was home to the closest U.S. House election in the nation. National Democrats see it as one of the juiciest pickup opportunities in next year's vote. 

The runner-up in the 2018 contest, Carolyn Bourdeaux, has already launched another bid. So have Snellville attorney Marqus Coles and Democratic operative Nabilah Islam.

And a trio of Democratic state legislators – Brenda Lopez, Pedro Marin and Sam Park – is considering a run. The Republican side is unsettled, too, though state Sen. Renee Unterman is seen as an early frontrunner if she decides to get in.

First elected to the Fulton board in 2006, Eaves was a late entry in the packed field for Atlanta mayor in 2017 and finished with just 1,200 votes. He recently moved to the suburbs, pointedly posting his new Gwinnett license plate on Facebook.

Eaves earned praise during his 11 years as Fulton County's top official for his collaborative style and his work professionalizing the county's management, but his critics - including then-Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed - knocked him as too malleable.