Nathan Deal, the longtime congressman for this section of Northwest Georgia, is expected to announce on Friday morning that he will run for governor of Georgia.
A press conference is expected to be held at his main office in Gainesville at 10 a.m.
Sources said the 66-year-old Deal "has taken all the steps necessary to enter the governor's race."
The move would open up the 9th District House seat that has been held by Rep. Deal since 1992.
The district includes offices in LaFayette and Dalton.
Rep. Deal served his first term and the first four months of his second term as a Democrat before switching to Republican.
In his first race as a Republican in 1996, he won handily over his Democratic opponent, attorney Ken Poston of Ringgold, who was endorsed by Rep. Deal's predecessor, eight-term Democrat Ed Jenkins. It was the first time the 9th District elected a Republican for a full term since Reconstruction.
Rep. Deal had no opposition in 1998, 2002 and 2004.
Rep. Deal was in the Georgia State Senate from 1980-1992 and was a
Juvenile Court judge in Hall County prior to that. He also served as an assistant district attorney and in private legal practice.
He is a graduate of Mercer University and the Mercer School of Law.
He was a captain in the United States Army from 1966-68.
He is married to the former Sandra Dunagan and their children are Jason, Mary Emily, Carrie and Katie.
Rep. Deal is a member of First Baptist Church, Gainesville, and the
Gainesville Rotary Club.