At least two candidates have formally announced their candidacy and another person has expressed interest in state House District 23, composed of Waleska parts of Canton, and parts of southwest and northwest Cherokee County.
Canton resident Mandi Ballinger and Clayton community resident Troy Welker have both officially announced for the seat.
Alan Shinall, the chairman of the Cherokee County Board of Elections, said right now he’s considering his options for a possible run for the new house seat.
While several others are rumored to be interested in the seat, the three are the only ones so far to make their intentions public.
The seat was created out of last summer’s reapportionment process.
Though he’s run for political office in the past, Shinall said he’s weighing a return to the campaign scene.
“I saw this opportunity that I wanted to explore,” he said.
Shinall, 70, said he’s formed an exploratory committee and could make a decision by mid-March.
Shinall, the former chair of the Cherokee County Republican Party, ran for the state House of Representatives seat about 20 years ago and lost.
Shinall said once he makes a decision, he will resign from his current post on the board of elections.
Ballinger on Thursday formally announced her plans to run for the Republican nomination for the seat.
Ballinger said she looks forward to serving the people of Cherokee County.
“To me, it’s an expression of my community involvement I’ve had for such a long time,” she added. “It’s really an outgrowth of that.”
Ballinger, 36, is a member of the Canton Main Street Program’s economic development committee and was a treasurer for the Cherokee Arts Center’s board of directors.
She was also selected volunteer of the year by the center and is a past member of a committee to develop the city of Canton’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan.
Ballinger and her husband, Eric, have been married for 12 years and they have one son named Henry.
The Georgia native obtained her finance degree from Kennesaw State University, and the family attends St. Peter Chanel Church.
Welker, 41, has also announced his plans to seek the Republican nomination.
Welker, co-owner of IPT Sink Company, is also a reserve police officer with the city of Bremen. He has been a sworn police officer in the state for the past 18 years.
A graduate of Kennesaw State University, Welker also is a state-certified general police instructor since 1999 and a former volunteer firefighter.