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POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Former federal prosecutor to seek Cox's state House seat

Camie Young

Camie Young

A former federal prosecutor became the third candidate to seek state Rep. Clay Cox's state House seat as he turns his attention to a congressional campaign.

BJay Pak, who worked as an assistant U.S. attorney for six years before joining the law firm Schiff Hardin, will compete in the GOP primary this July against political consultant Travis Bowden and business woman Linda Carsten.

"Washington's tax and spending policies will cause further job losses for Georgians which will halt any hope for a sustained economic recovery and further crush our state's budget," Pak said. "As your representative, I will fight to lower taxes and focus on sponsoring legislation which supports businesses in creating permanent jobs. Furthermore, I will work to give our law enforcement officials additional resources to combat the growing number of home invasions and gang-related violence in Gwinnett County that threaten our quality of life."

During his stint in the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Lilburn resident and father of two prosecuted a Coca-Cola employee charged with conspiring to sell trade secrets to rival PepsiCo, as well as work to dismantle Mexican-based drug trafficking organizations operating in and around Gwinnett.

Millions contributed to governor race

Campaign coffers are getting stuffed, according to disclosure reports filed for the upcoming gubernatorial race.

Democratic hopeful Roy Barnes said he's raised more than $900,000 in the first three months of the year and has a whopping $2.8 million in the bank.

That leads the other candidates who've reported so far.

Among Republicans, Eric Johnson pulled in more than $700,000 in the last quarter and has about $1.7 million on hand. Karen Handel raised nearly $400,000 in the first quarter and has almost $600,000 in the bank. Despite being barred from collecting donations since the Jan. 11 start of the legislative session, state insurance commissioner John Oxendine raised about $81,000 this quarter and has a little more than $2 million on hand. U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal added $201,000 to his coffers over the past three months, giving him just under $800,000 on hand.

Political newcomer Ray Boyd announced earlier this week he is throwing $2 million of his own money into winning the Republican nomination.

Johnson to open campaign office

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson will be hitting the campaign trail soon, with plenty of competition seeking his seat.

This weekend, he will open a campaign office at 3054 Panola Road in Lithonia.

"The campaign is full speed ahead toward victory," Johnson said. "I hope folks will come out on Saturday to meet me and learn how they can join the fight for progress in America."

A grand opening event, featuring food and an opportunity to meet the congressman, is scheduled for 2 to 5 p.m.

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.