Local attorney Ron Mullins feels the time is right to run for the Georgia General Assembly.
Mullins, 58, confirmed he will seek the Senate District 29 seat being vacated by Seth Harp, who has announced he will run for state Insurance commissioner.
Mullins and another attorney, Josh McKoon, are the only two announced candidates for the Republican primary June 20, 2010. The General Election will be in Nov. 2, 2010. Candidates do not have to qualify for the race until April.
The district includes portions of Muscogee, Harris, Troup and Meriwether counties.
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“My decision to run has been made after much deliberation and prayer,” Mullins said. “It has been most gratifying that so many people have encouraged me to seek this office.”
Mullins, who lives in southern Harris County and practices law in Columbus, considered a run for the Georgia House in 1992 for a seat that was eventually won by Vance Smith.
“The timing wasn’t right,” Mullins said. “I had just started a three-person law practice in Columbus.”
Mullins’ partners were Ron Self and Pete Robinson.
“Pete was already in the state Senate and it was not a good business plan to have two members of the same law firm in the General Assembly,” Mullins said.
Mullins said his campaign will be co-chaired by W.C. Bradley Real Estate Division President Mat Swift and his Page Scrantom Sprouse Tucker & Ford law partner Cecil Cheves.
“I think Ron has the maturity and public service mindedness to serve the city of Columbus. Harris County as well as Troup and Meriwether counties,” Cheves said. “His roots run deep through the entire geographic area. He has the maturity, wisdom and judgment to serve us well.”
Swift said Mullins was the type of person he wants in the General Assembly.
“Although he has never run for public office, he has proven for many years he’s an excellent lawyer, good listener and mediator,” Swift said. “I think he will do what’s right for District 29, but he will also do what’s right for the state.”
Mullins describes himself as a fiscal conservative who will “work to lessen the tax burden” and allow the free-enterprise system to work more efficiently.
Mullins was raised in Pine Mountain, graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Georgia in 1973 and UGA’s Lumpkin School of Law in 1976.
After four years of practice in Augusta, Mullins and his wife, the former Mary Humphries of Columbus, moved back to the area. He has been practicing law here since.
“My roots are here, going back four generations on both sides of my family,” Mullins said.
He will start raising the money necessary to run the campaign. McKoon, 30, has raised more than $41,0000, according to campaign disclosures filed with the state Ethics Commission.
“It is not really a money issue to me,” Mullins said. “I have to raise the money. But I am from this district, I grew up here and I know it well.”
He has deep roots in Harris County. Mullins’ sister, Mary Hartley, is probate judge in Harris County. He has two grown children, Rebecca and Andy. From 2000-2002, Mullins and his wife served as co-chairs of the Harris County High School PTA.
Harp will finish his term, representing the district in next year’s General Assembly. He has endorsed McKoon, but said it was a good sign that quality Republicans were entering the race.
“Ron Mullins is a principled, wonderful person of the best sort,” Harp said. “I am delighted Republican candidates of the quality of Ron and Josh are running. Either one will be able to serve the district well.”