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Tanner announces bid for State House
Tanner Announcement mug

Dawson County's manager has announced his intention to seek the new District 9 post in the state House of Representatives.

"I am excited to announce my campaign ... and I am truly honored by the tremendous outpouring of support I have received so far," said Kevin Tanner, who'll run as a Republican.

"I look forward to working hard and earning the trust and support of the people of this district."

Tanner is the second candidate to announce for the district, which covers all of Lumpkin County, most of Dawson and a portion of Hall.

Former state representative Clint Smith declared his candidacy earlier this month.

The seat is currently held by Rep. Amos Amerson, who has not announced his retirement but has indicated he doesn't plan to seek another term.

Qualifying for the July 31 General Primary is set for May 23-25.

Tanner, 39, said his more than two-decade career in county government has prepared him for state office.

"I think you build toward improving yourself and improving your status of where you are in life, in community, in career and in family," he said.

"I realized that in order to be a state representative and be successful that I needed to have the foundation laid first. I've worked hard over the past 22 years to lay that foundation."

As Dawson's chief operating officer, Tanner oversees day-to-day operations of the county, including a $23 million budget.

He began his public service career as a volunteer firefighter, followed by more than 17 years with the Dawson County Sheriff's Office, including 11 as under-sheriff and chief deputy.

"I've prayed about this decision, talked with family and friends and statewide leaders, and I'm ready to take that step," Tanner said.

As of Dec. 31, campaign disclosure reports* show Tanner had raised more than $65,000 toward his campaign.

He said his ties at the state level have him ready to be a consensus builder in Atlanta.

"I truly believe that we live in the greatest place in the world, and in the state of Georgia, we have so many opportunities," he said.

"It's important for us to have the right leadership in Atlanta that can work with the governor, the speaker [of the House], the lieutenant governor and the leadership to get things done. I'm excited to be a part of the bigger picture as we move forward at the state level."

A graduate of North Georgia College & State University, Tanner has a master's degree in public administration from Columbus State University. He is also active in numerous local and state organizations.

He is married to the former Stacie Pickering, a public school teacher. The couple has three daughters: Kaitlyn, Abbie and Chloe. They attend Bethel Baptist Church.