An Alpharetta businesswoman with close to $500,000 in her war chest announced Friday she’ll seek the Congressional District 14 seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger.
Marjorie Taylor Greene had been running in the District 6 Republican primary against Karen Handel, who’s been endorsed by Gov. Brian Kemp and both of Georgia’s U.S. senators.
In a statement Friday, she said she’s been “urged by many conservative supporters” to move her campaign to the Northwest Georgia district.
Greene has been in Rome this week to meet with some local Republicans before deciding to launch a bid for the seat. During a stop at the Rome News-Tribune office, she said she’s also visited with party leaders in Dalton and other areas.
“Georgia 14 is one of the most pro-Trump districts in the country, and I am one of the most pro-Trump candidates,” she said.
Greene said Congressional Republicans have not given President Donald Trump the support he needs and she wants to help change that.
“I’m not willing to let this strong pro-Trump district go to a moderate Republican ... They didn’t defund sanctuary cities, they didn’t fund the wall. They let funding go to Planned Parenthood. They didn’t repeal and replace Obamacare,” she said.
While she had no local endorsements to announce Thursday, Greene said she’s expecting them to come as more voters in the district get to know her.
“Her heart may be in the right place but her house isn’t,” said Luke Martin, Floyd County’s Republican Party chair.
Earlier this week Martin said he hopes for a candidate from Rome or even within the 14th District.
Greene said she is talking with her husband, Perry Greene, about putting their home up for sale “immediately” and moving to the district. Members of Congress don’t have to live in the district they represent.
“We’re family people,” she said. “What I’m proudest of is being a mom, a wife and a small-business owner. ... My values just line up so well in Georgia 14,” she said.
As far as local connections go, Greene said she’s familiar with the district through the family business, Taylor Commercial Inc. The firm has done construction jobs in Paulding County and won an award from the Associated General Contractors of Georgia in 2012 for the siding on The Hub at WinShape at Berry College.
Qualifying is in March and the primary election is in May.
Ruth Demeter, who chairs the Floyd County Democratic Party, said they expect to field a candidate in the November general election.
“This is a great time for residents in this Congressional seat area to consider what’s important to them,” Demeter said. “Most people I talk to prefer someone who understands the character of our region from personal experience who can best represent us at the national level.”