State Rep. Stacey Evans, D-Smyrna, has announced she will run for governor in 2018.

Evans declared her candidacy early Thursday morning in a news release that put education and jobs at the center of her platform.

“I am running not only to protect the HOPE scholarship, which was the only way I could have gone to college, but also to fight to bring hope to so many Georgians who are struggling to make ends meet,” Evans wrote. “I’m running to bring good jobs to Georgia and help our small businesses so that every Georgia family has the opportunity to make a better life for themselves.”

Evans has been a staunch defender of the HOPE Scholarship since she was first elected to the Georgia House in 2010, saying it has given her the opportunity to become a success.

“Every Georgian deserves that same chance to succeed that I had, that same opportunity to get ahead and right now, Georgia families don’t have that,” Evans said in her announcement. “For too long, the system has been tilted in favor of the rich and powerful, I am running to bring hope back to every single Georgia family.”

Evans was re-elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2016 for a fourth term and serves on the House Rules, Appropriations, Judiciary, Juvenile Justice, Ethics and Interstate Cooperation committees, according to her website.

Evans enters a field that so far includes Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Brian Kemp and State Sen. Hunter Hill on the Republican side. Possible Democratic candidates to challenge Evans for the party’s nomination include state Rep. Stacey Abrams and former state Sen. Jason Carter, grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, though neither have officially announced yet.

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