Last week, Melvin Everson was preparing for a November battle against a long-term incumbent to try to become the first Republican labor commissioner.
Now, Everson's big fight will be in July.
On Wednesday, Democratic incumbent Michael Thurmond announced he would run against U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, leaving his labor commission post. The day before, Republican Rep. Mark Butler announced he would seek the seat.
"Now more than ever, Georgians are seeking committed leadership from their labor commission to help get people back to work and attract real employment growth to their communities," Everson, a state House member from Snellville, said. "My personal resolve remains strong to do more for our people by changing the leadership direction of this office. We can bring together all of the players, make the right choices and bring real economic development opportunities and create jobs.
"For over a year we have gone around the state with our message. We are dedicated to maintaining and building momentum in this campaign. Our chief priority remains to win the support of voters. We appreciate all the early support and ask for continued strong showings as we work throughout this election year."
When asked about the new GOP challenger, Everson said his year-long campaigning should be an advantage.
"Well it seems that now that the incumbent has abandoned the office, suddenly people are stepping forward saying they want to be Labor Commissioner. That does not matter to me," he said. "I've been in this fight for over a year and have a strong, engaged grassroots campaign. I don't care what Republican or Democrat suddenly decide they want to oppose our conservative reform agenda to bring jobs to Georgians. We will continue our campaign full steam ahead and we will win in July and go on to be the first Republican labor commissioner in November."
Local woman takes national role
A Buford woman was chosen as a leader in the National Federation of Republican Women.
Bettye Chambers was named chairwoman of the group's Web site assistance committee.
"With the 2010 elections just months away, the NFRW is gearing up to help Republicans across the country win races at the local, state and national levels," said the federation's president Sue Lynch. "We are pleased that Bettye is going to play a key role in this effort by sharing her talents and ideas with our members across the nation."
The former computer teacher is also the Webmaster and an officer in the Greater Gwinnett Republican Women.
"Web sites and e-newsletters are essential in spreading our conservative message and electing conservative Republicans across the nation in the 21st century," Chambers said. "This form of communication is extremely important in 2010 and 2012, when women make up 52 percent of the voters in the nation."
Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.
Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.