State Rep. Sean Jerguson (R-Holly Springs) and Brandon Beach, 6th District representative on the state Transportation Board, both announced plans Wednesday to run for the Senate seat.
Gov. Nathan Deal signed an executive order Wednesday calling the special election on Jan. 8 and official qualifying is expected to take place next week.
Jerguson will resign his seat in the Georgia House of Representatives to run.
“We thought it was important that the county have strong conservative leadership in the Senate. A number of local leaders and elected officials have called and emailed and encouraged me to run,” Jerguson said.
Beach, who lost a bid for the District 21 seat to Rogers in the July primary, said he wishes the departing senator well in his new job at Georgia Public Broadcasting and appreciates Rogers’ service.
Beach said he comes to this race with real experience as an effective leader and unique qualities to represent the needs of District 21 constituents.
“The people of Cherokee County and north Fulton need effective representation under the Gold Dome; we need a senator who is responsive to the people of the 21st District — a senator who is solutions-driven. I have the track record and experience necessary to provide this leadership,” said Beach.
Jerguson said giving up his House seat to run for Senate was a “difficult decision.”
“It’s a decision I’ve deliberated on. The other legislators in our county have fully supported me in this decision, and I think this is the right thing to do for our county,” he said.
Jerguson called the support of the community over the last 48 hours “very, very humbling.”
Jerguson was elected in July to a two-year term representing House District 21. He has served six years as the District 22 representative. He is owner of Hi-Caliber, a gun store and indoor shooting range, in addition to Jerguson Construction Inc.
Beach, who has worked as president and CEO of the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce for the past 10 years, said that throughout his tenure he has worked diligently with politicians to develop pro-business initiatives on all levels of local, state, national and even international governments
“We have some tough challenges, and education is one,” Beach said. “We have to have quality education if we are going to have any hope of competing economically.”
Beach said he has already lined up support for his bid including Sheriff Roger Garrison, Cherokee County Commission Chairman Buzz Ahrens, Commissioners Jason Nelms and Jim Hubbard, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, Sen. Jeff Mullis, Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle, Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood and many more elected officials from around the district and the state.
Beach said the support he has received from hundreds of citizens from all over Cherokee County is especially heartwarming.
“I think Cherokee County needs someone who will work with the local elected officials,” Beach said. “I think it is a problem to have just a once-a-year meeting with local officials, but instead I will be in constant contact and have an open door policy. That is what I do as a DOT board member, and I will do that in the state Senate.”
Outgoing state House member Rep. Charlice Byrd (R-Woodstock) has said she will not seek the Senate seat.
“It’s not the time for me to run for another seat. That’s not to say I won’t do so in the future,” she said.