Marco Rubio picks a side in Georgia’s Sixth District race

Rubio easily won the district, an establishment-friendly swath stretching from east Cobb to north DeKalb, in Georgia’s March 2016 presidential primary. Donald Trump’s struggles in the Sixth– he barely edged Hillary Clinton – have given Democrats hopes they can flip the seat.

“Judson Hill is the only conservative Republican in this race who can win – and he’s a proven leader who can help us get our nation back on the right track after eight years of the Obama administration,” Rubio said in a statement. “We have enough talkers up here in Washington. We need doers, and Judson Hill is a doer.”

Hill was the first candidate to enter the race in November, shortly after Rep. Tom Price was tapped as Trump’s health secretary. He’s one of 11 Republicans – and 18 contenders overall – who will share the ballot in the April 18 special election. The top two vote-getters, regardless of party, square off in a June 20 runoff.

Hill was first elected in 2004 to a Senate district that swings from east Cobb to portions of Sandy Springs, and he rose to chair the chamber’s finance committee. A former federal prosecutor, he resigned his seat in February upon qualifying for office.

His campaign is backed by a number of prominent Cobb leaders, as well as several former aides to Gov. Nathan Deal and well-known Rubio supporters. The Florida Republican, who won Fulton, DeKalb and Cobb in last year's vote, said Hill knows how to “cut taxes while balancing a budget because he’s done it in Georgia.” He also praised Hill's opposition to abortion and support for “patient-centered” healthcare reforms.

Hill initially supported Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in last year’s presidential race but backed Rubio last February as the race heated up. He said he’s the only candidate who can work with Rubio to “fix the mess that the previous administration left” – starting with replacing the Affordable Care Act and boosting defense spending.

“Let’s show the Washington Democrats that they can’t buy out the Sixth District,” said Hill.

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.