Clay Cox throws hat in ring for Linder's seat

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Another candidate appears to be emerging for the 7th Congressional District race to replace John Linder.

State Rep. Clay Cox, R-Lilburn, is expected to announce a campaign today. He has called a press conference for 10 a.m. at Lilburn City Hall.

Since Linder announced his impending retirement last weekend, state Sen. Don Balfour, R-Snellville, was the first candidate to step forward for the election.

On Tuesday, state Sen. David Shafer, R-Duluth, said he decided against a run.

"I will be doing everything in my power to help elect a strong, principled conservative to succeed John Linder in Congress," Shafer said in an e-mail. "But I have determined that my public service is best performed here in Georgia, on the state level, near the ones I love."

Other candidates who have expressed an interest include Gwinnett Commissioner Mike Beaudreau, Rep. Jeff May, R-Monroe, and Gwinnett GOP Chairman Chuck Efstration, all of whom could square off in the July Republican primary.

For Democrats, U.S. Army Reserve Col. Doug Heckman, of Lawrenceville, is expected to consider a second campaign, after garnering 41 percent of the vote in 2008.