The race to fill the Georgia House District 21 seat now has a second contender.
Brian Laurens, a Hickory Flat resident, has declared his candidacy to run for the seat, which has been vacated by State Rep. Sean Jerguson (R-Holly Springs).
Jerguson has decided to seek the Georgia Senate District 21 seat, which also became vacant earlier this week with the resignation of former Senator Chip Rogers.
Laurens, who has an extensive background with the Georgia Republican Party for the better part of a decade, said he decided to run because "now is the time" for "true conservatives" to occupy every level of government.
"Our nation and our state face serious challenges that are best met with the ideals of our founders, free people, free markets and limited government," he said, adding he has been "overwhelmed and humbled" by the support he's garnered. "This community has given me so much (and) it is my desire to give back. After prayerful consideration, and support from my wife, I am offering myself as a candidate for the state house."
Laurens will take on fellow challenger and Holly Springs resident Scot Turner, who declared his candidacy on Wednesday.
Qualifying for the race will take place Monday Dec. 10, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will continue from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday Dec. 11 and from 8 a.m. to noon on Wednesday Dec. 12.
The special election is slated for Tuesday Jan. 8, 2013.
Laurens, 29, got involved in Republican Party politics while in college, working on the campaigns of conservative candidates across the state.
He worked on the gubernatorial campaign of former Gov. Sonny Perdue in 2002 and has served in consulting, senior staff and volunteer roles on several congressional, statewide and local political campaigns.
In the Republican Party, Laurens has served as precinct chair, a county officer, a district officer and has served on the Georgia Republican Party's state committee.
Laurens has also served as chair of a local Young Republicans club and as the executive director of the Georgia Young Republicans.
Laurens owns Brikel Communications, a political strategy consulting organization.
Laurens and wife Kelly have one daughter.