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Woodall hopes to keep FairTax momentum alive

STONE MOUNTAIN -- When his boss, U.S. Rep. John Linder made a surprise retirement announcement a few weeks ago, Rob Woodall waited for a torrent of candidates to come forward.

Instead, only three entered the race and one subsequently backed out.

So Woodall, a career bureaucrat who has worked as Linder's chief of staff for a decade but never run for public office himself, decided to enter the field.

"No competition is never good in politics," Woodall said Wednesday, after announcing his candidacy on Neal Boortz's radio program.

While he grew up in DeKalb County and is settling in Lawrenceville, Woodall knows that his years living in Washington could be held against him. But he said there is never a more important time to have an experienced person in office.

Besides, he said, he has been the hometown guy working in Washington for the constituents of Gwinnett, Barrow and the rest of the 7th District for decades.

"In this environment having someone who can hit the ground running on Day 1 is so important," he said, adding that he didn't want to lose momentum on the FairTax legislation that Linder championed.

Woodall is listed as a co-author in the second of Linder and Boortz's books, "FairTax: The Truth."

Woodall will face off against state Rep. Clay Cox and Walton County businessman Tom Kirby in the July Republican primary.