A local doctor and businessman has announced his intention to enter the race for the U.S. House District 14 seat representing Northwest Georgia.

Dr. John Cowan, a Harbin Clinic neurosurgeon with long ties to the local Republican party, formally unveiled his campaign Tuesday morning.

“As your representative, you’ll never have to question where I stand on the issues most important to you,” Cowan said in a media release. “I’ll promote and defend pro-life legislation, the Second Amendment, our borders, our religious freedoms, our military, our veterans and our first responders. I’ll stand for what has made America great, and I’ll fight against any efforts by the left to rebrand socialism, undermine our Constitution, or threaten our freedoms. I’ll represent the 14th District with integrity and champion hard work, individual responsibility and free-market solutions.”

He has tapped several familiar Rome names with political and campaign experience as well as some veterans on the state and national level. Cowan’s campaign will be chaired by Rome attorney Andy Garner and the campaign treasurer will be a former Rome mayor, Evie McNiece.

For state and national experience Cowan has brought in Mitch Hunter, who coordinated former U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey’s campaign in 2002 and later served as chief of staff for Gingrey. Hunter is also known for working on several other state and federal campaigns. Also working as a consultant on the Cowan campaign is former Gov. Nathan Deal spokesman Brian Robinson.

Cowan cited his healthcare experience as well as business experience as two reasons for announcing the bid.

“I’m running now because I believe I have the necessary skills and training to address the nation’s deepest needs,” he said. “The values and freedoms that Americans hold dear are imperiled by our nation’s unsustainable healthcare spending. We spend more on healthcare than any developed nation yet have declining life expectancy and worse health. Healing a broken healthcare system will go a long way toward putting us back on the right path. This can’t happen without physicians in Congress. It’s time to make a House call.”

Cowan isn’t the only doctor in his family. His wife, Dr. Annie Cowan, is an anesthesiologist who serves on the Medical Association of Georgia’s Opioid Task Force, the release stated. He is also the CEO of Cortex Toys, a toy distributor located in Rome.

“I grew up on a cattle farm in Northwest Georgia, where my family has lived for a century now,” Cowan said in the release. “My community has invested in me and given me unbelievable opportunity. I want to represent our conservative values in Congress because we continually need a new supply of business and civic leaders who don’t come from the career political class. We need creative new ideas, rooted in traditional values.”

Luke Martin, the Floyd County GOP chair, said they’re happy to have a local candidate enter the race.

“Floyd County Republicans are excited at the chance to elect one of our own to Congress,” Martin said. “We have three strong pro-Trump, pro-gun and pro-life candidates in the race right now and I’m excited to see who the voters elect this summer.”

The District 14 seat will be vacated by current Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger. He announced on Dec. 5 he would not be seeking re-election in 2020 for a sixth term.

That announcement caught many state and local leaders by surprise and is leading to a short election season with qualifying in March and the primary in May.

At this point two other people have announced their intentions to run for the seat.

Clayton Fuller, an Air Force veteran from Lookout Mountain, and Marjorie Greene, a wealthy businesswoman from Alpharetta who shifted her campaign here from the District 6 race, have also been campaigning locally.

At this point no Democrats have announced their intentions to run, however, Floyd County Democratic Party Chair Ruth Demeter earlier said they expect to field a candidate.

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