Ending nearly two days of speculation, Brandon Beach has announced his plans to run for the Senate District 21 seat.
Beach on Wednesday evening formally made his intentions known to the public to run for the seat, which has been vacated by former Senator Chip Rogers after he abruptly resigned Tuesday afternoon.
Beach, who said he's energized and ready to run for the seat, noted he wanted to thank Rogers for his service to the state. His announcement follows State Rep. Sean Jerguson's declaration of his candidacy to run for the same seat.
A special election date has tentatively been set for Jan. 8, 2013.
“The people of Cherokee County and north Fulton need effective representation under the Gold Dome," he added. "We need a senator who is responsive to the people of the 21st District; a senator who is solutions-driven. I have the track record and experience necessary to provide this leadership."
Beach, who ran a competitive race against Rogers for the state senate seat during the July Republican primary, said he's "overwhelmed by the show of support" he's received across the region and state, including Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, Cherokee County Sheriff Roger Garrison, Cherokee County Commission Chairman Buzz Ahrens, Cherokee County Commissioners Jason Nelms and Jim Hubbard, State Senator Jeff Mullis, Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle and Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood.
He also said the backing he's received from "hundreds of citizens from all over Cherokee County is especially heartwarming."
Rogers defeated Beach in the primary with 60 percent of the vote.
Beach said he brings to the table "real experience as an effective leader and unique qualities" to serve in the state senate. He noted he's has been a long-time leader in the community and worked to bring new jobs and traffic and tax relief to residents.
Before jumping into state politics, Beach served as a member of the Alpharetta City Council between 2000 and 2004. He worked to establish the city's homestead exemption, which brought lower taxes to residents.
“I am proud of implementing one of the strongest homestead exemptions in the state of Georgia that resulted in tax relief for the citizens of Alpharetta," he added.
For the past 10 years, Beach has served as the president and CEO of the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce. During his tenure, he's worked with elected officials to develop pro-business initiatives at the local, state and national levels of government.
Beach noted that even in the Great Recession, the Chamber has been "instrumental" in creating more than 2,500 jobs in northern Fulton county.
Beach has represented District 6 of the Georgia Department of Transportation's board, which encompasses Cherokee and part of north Fulton.
Beach has been twice elected unanimously to the board by the state legislative delegation in the district. Serving on that board, he added, is an "honor" as it's allowed him to meet many public and private sector leaders.
"The 6th District has seen many transportation improvements," he said. "Two recent examples are the opening of Westside Parkway in Alpharetta and the interchange at I-575 and Ridgewalk Parkway, which opened (last month) ahead of schedule and under budget."
Beach noted he wants to continue improving education and transportation for residents in the Senate District 21, adding he's a "conservative, solutions-based leader who believes in lower taxes, less government and local control."
Beach and wife Shuntel live in Alpharetta and have two adult children, Courtney and Hunter.