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Greg BluesteinTamar Hallerman
Jim Galloway

Barry Loudermilk, Doug Collins attract two new primary challengers

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We’ve got another business executive going after a member of Congress. Daniel Cowan, a Kennesaw resident and multi-degreed executive of a major infrastructure corporation in Atlanta, will file his Republican candidacy today against U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk, we’re told.

Cowan, vice president of strategy and corporate development for Aegion, is a first time candidate but well-connected within Cobb County.

He’s the latest deep-pocketed outsider to announce a run for public office in Georgia. Read more here.

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That’s not the only qualifying news breaking this morning.

FEBRUARY 18, 2014 ATLANTA Congressman Paul Broun answers a question about health care. Six candidates for the Republican primary were present for a panel at the 755 Club at Turner Field for a forum in conjunction with the 24th Annual Small Business Day at the Capitol, Tuesday, February 18, 2014. KENT D. JOHNSON / KDJOHNSON@AJC.COM

Former U.S. Rep. Paul Broun in 2014. KENT D. JOHNSON / KDJOHNSON@AJC.COM

Former U.S. Rep. Paul Broun formally announced his challenge to Gainesville’s Doug Collins after more than a week of not-so-secret speculation.

“I’m fed up with what’s going on in Washington. I’m fed up with the Republican leadership. I’m fed up with the big government that’s been created  by both political parties. We’ve been betrayed by the Republican leadership in the House and Senate,” Broun said on WDUN-AM.

Broun changed his residency to Habersham County in order to run for the ninth district seat, which neighbors his old tenth district to the north. He represented a chunk of its residents before redistricting in 2012.

Broun framed himself as a political outsider who would steer Congress back to a more constitutionalist modus operandi.

“Doug Collins has the values of Paul Ryan, John Boehner and the Washington establishment,” he said. “I’m the people’s congressman. He’s the establishment’s congressman.”

Expect this race to heat up — fast. 

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Wrestling coach Sam Snider filed paperwork once again to challenge House Speaker David Ralston.

But it looks like he forgot to file paperwork to keep his domain name.

Sam Snider screenshot***

We got a tip that Richard Mix, a Newnan Republican businessman running for retiring Rep. Lynn Westmoreland’s west Georgia district used a GoFundMe account to raise money for his campaign.

He’s far from the first political candidate to use the crowdfunding model to raise cash for his run, but it sometimes complicates efforts to abide by federal election transparency rules.

Mix said he raised less than $2,000 through the account and ended it because of the fees involved (the website takes  percent or so of the donations.) Wrote Mix:

“EVERY PENNY of money collected through GoFundMe was transferred DIRECTLY to my campaign bank account, and all of it is accounted for and will be reported at the appropriate time along with the other campaign contributions I have received. I am no longer using GoFundMe for any fundraising efforts, and if there were any issues with raising money via GoFundMe, then I was not aware of them.”

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Stacey Kalberman is back in the thick of the fight against political corruption.

If that name doesn’t ring a bell, recall the nasty fight that led to her ouster from her job as head of the state ethics commission after investigating Gov. Nathan Deal.

As our AJC colleague Mark Niesse reports, she has now stepped into another potential minefield: corruption-plagued DeKalb County.

From his story:

Kalberman’s appointment as the county’s first chief ethics officer was approved 6-0 by the DeKalb Commission. The position was created as part of a government overhaul approved by 92 percent of voters in November.

Over the past several years, numerous government officials and employees have been found guilty of corruption-related crimes, while many of those not charged have been accused of having conflicts of interest or abusing tax money.

Kalberman said she will stand up for DeKalb residents and resist political pressure.

“People have to be able to trust their government, and they have to know their government is working in their interest,” Kalberman said in an interview Tuesday. “You can’t have a strong democratic government without good ethics.”