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Candidates Emerge in Norwood District

With the news that ailing Rep. Charlie Norwood (R-Ga.) decided to forgo further cancer treatment in Washington, D.C., and has headed to his Augusta home to enter hospice care, state Sen. Ralph Hudgens (R) told a local newspaper last week that he is interested in running for the 10th district Congressional seat whenever there is a vacancy.

“My prayer for Charlie has been that he would get well and continue to serve and thereby keep me from having to make a decision” about running, Hudgens told The Times of Gainesville, Ga. “When there is a vacancy, my intention is to run. But right now there is not a vacancy and there’s nothing to talk about.”

Hudgens is among several state lawmakers and other politicians mentioned as possible Republican candidates to succeed Norwood, who has no plans to resign.

State Rep. Barry Fleming (R) is all but certain to run and is viewed as among the frontrunners if a race for the northeast 10th district seat does materialize.

Fleming, the House Majority Whip, introduced a resolution in the Georgia House on Monday honoring Norwood and his service.

State Rep. Ben Harbin, who also has been mentioned as a possible candidate, was among the co-sponsors of the resolution. Harbin is chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

Former state Sen. Brian Kemp (R), who lost a primary bid for state Agriculture Commissioner in 2006, also is mentioned as a possible candidate to succeed Norwood.

Former Rep. Max Burns (R), who represented the neighboring 12th district for one term and was defeated in a rematch with Democratic Rep. John Barrow in 2006, also is mentioned as a possible contender. He previously represented portions of the 10th before a GOP-led redistricting effort in 2005.

Although the district strongly favors Republicans, several Democrats have been mentioned as interested if there is an open-seat race.

Among them are Athens Mayor Doc Eldridge, state Rep. Jeanette Jamieson, state Rep. Alan Powell and former state Sen. Carol Jackson.

— Lauren W. Whittington

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