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Georgia: Half a Dozen GOPers Vying to Succeed Deal

The list of Republicans running in the 9th district open-seat race got even longer last week when state Sen. Lee Hawkins released a statement announcing that he will seek the GOP nomination next year.

Hawkins, a dentist who won his Senate seat in 2006, is expected to hold a formal campaign kickoff event today in Gainesville.

Rep. Nathan Deal (R) announced in May that he is running for governor in 2010. That decision created what will be only the third vacancy since 1952 in the northern 9th district, which is staunchly conservative.

Other announced Republicans include state Rep. Tom Graves, former state Rep. Mike Evans, former state Senate Majority Leader Bill Stephens, businessman Jeremy Jones and Whitfield County Commissioner Mike Cowan.

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