Dan McEntire, businessman and former Chatsworth mayor announced on Monday his intent to run for the Georgia State Senate in District 54. That district, which includes the eastern half of Gordon County, is currently represented by Sen. Chuck Payne, R-Dalton.

McEntire said he intends to run as a Republican, which means he will face Payne in the Republican primary.

The following as a statement from the candidate:

“Dan McEntire, a local small businessman and Northwest Georgia native, announces he will qualify as a candidate for State Senator District 54 in the May 19th Republican Primary.

“McEntire is a native of Chatsworth, graduated from Murray County High School in 1971, and later attended Dalton Junior College. He and his wife, Becky, a Dalton native, currently live in Dalton and are active members of Dalton First United Methodist Church where he has served on the Finance Committee.

“He served as Mayor of Chatsworth for four years and during that time he learned quickly how to work with the State government to achieve local goals. He pledges to serve the people of the 54th District by being available and by listening to their concerns. He has learned through his many conversations with voters at events and activities during the last few months that voters don’t just want to be heard, they want someone who is actually listening to them.

“McEntire began his business career in 1973 as co-founder of Cumberland Mills, Inc. in Eton. In 1988 he established his current business, Supreme Carpet Inc. in Eton, later relocating to Chatsworth. In addition to the carpet business he has built homes for sale and also been involved in land development, in which he feels gives him additional business acumen. As a small business owner, he has the ability to get good value in spending and he pledges to do the same with tax dollars with total honesty and transparency.

“He feels the continuance of a strong local economy is a prime concern of voters and he assures them that it will be one of his major goals. In addition, he will strive for advanced immigration laws, continued gun rights, voting rights and human rights.

“McEntire has shown volunteer support for the area by being a founding member of the Murray County Rescue Squad, serving as chairman of the Northwest Georgia Planning Commission, and board member of Cherokee Estates and Mt. View Boys Home.

“He and his wife are the parents of a daughter, Kelly McEntire Shapiro, of Canton. They are grandparents to Madison, Makenna and Parker.

“’The Right Choice’ is his campaign slogan because he knows he is the right man with the qualifications and desire to be an effective and progressive leader in State Government. His philosophy for service is borrowed from John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church, who said, ‘Do all the good you can, by all means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, for all the people you can as long ever you can.’”

Payne had previously announced his intent to run for reelection.

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