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Who’s running in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District

U.S. Rep Tom Graves sent waves of shock through the state when he announced he would not seek re-election in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District.

Graves, a Republican from Ranger, has served in Congress since 2010. Nine candidates qualified to fill his spot in the historically conservative Northwest Georgia seat.

Whichever Republican candidate wins the June 9th primary election will face Democrat and Implementation specialist Kevin Van Ausdal in November.

One prominent candidate, Marjorie Taylor Greene, even relocated to the district to improve her chances.

Here are the Republicans we have our eye on:

John Barge, former state schools chief

Details: Barge served as the elected Georgia school superintendent from 2011-2014. He opposed the No Child Left Behind policy and pushed for Georgia to apply for a waiver from the program. He succeeded and later said that he wants to eliminate the U.S. Department of Education.

Barge, who lives in Floyd County, ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2014, losing in the primary to incumbent Nathan Deal.

7th District congressional candidate Ben Bullock.
7th District congressional candidate Ben Bullock.

Ben Bullock, Air Force veteran

Details: Bullock initially entered the race for Georgia's 7th Congressional district in 2019 but struggled to gain traction in the competitive suburban district. In January, he switched his candidacy to the 14th district contest.

Although he lives in Gwinnett County, his family has roots in Paulding County where his campaign is based. Bullock founded a real estate investment firm and retired from the Air Force with the rank of major.

State Rep. Kevin Cooke

Details: Cooke has represented Carrollton in the Georgia House since 2012. He supported Georgia's controversial abortion bill, HB 481, and said he considers Second Amendment rights to be a priority issue. Cooke also serves as the associate athletic director at Shorter University in Rome.

John Cowan, neurosurgeon

Details: Cowan is a neurosurgeon in Rome, Georgia. He also owns a toy company called Cortex Toys. Cowan has not had any previous public office experience, but cites his experiences as doctor and small business owner as his inspiration to run. He has been criticized for his toy company's business relationship with China.

6th District GOP candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene.
6th District GOP candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Marjorie Taylor Greene, construction executive

Details: Like her rival Bullock, Greene originally announced her candidacy for a different contest: Georgia's 6th Congressional District. She dropped out of the race in mid-December and became the first candidate to enter the 14th District. Greene moved to Rome with her family shortly after announcing her bid for the seat. She has been endorsed by U.S. Congressman Jim Jordan.

Republican Bill Hembree
Republican Bill Hembree

Former State Rep. Bill Hembree 

Details: Hembree represented Winston in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1992 to 2011. He served as Chairman of the House Industrial Relations Committee, Higher Education Committee, and Rules Committee during his time as a state legislator. Hembree unsuccessfully ran for Speaker of the House in 2008, and now oversees a small insurance agency.

Also running: Lawyer Clayton Fuller, Business Owner Andy Gunther, Business Owner Matt Laughridge,