The list of candidates is changing daily in the race to replace Congressman Lynn Westmoreland. In today’s installment, the role of the successful businessman/outsider may about to be filled.
Jim Pace is a long time businessman and civic activist from Fayette County. While his early career has been in real estate, other recent efforts have been on projects that have transformed the Southside from an airline-centric bedroom community to one with more diversified interests. I know Jim mostly from his efforts to help expand Georgia Military College’s satellite campuses in Fairburn (where I was once an adjunct professor) and Fayetteville.
Many of you may not know him but are aware of one of his much more high profile projects: He’s business partners with Dan Cathy and the group that brought Pinewood Studios to Georgia, solidifying Georgia’s place as a major entertainment production location for the film industry.
In an era where a successful “outsider” ran against five current or former elected officials to become a US Senator from Georgia, and another “outsider” is still at the top of GOP presidential polls, Pace will likely set an alternative tone in the race. The currently only announced candidate Mike Crane, who used the backdrop of Georgia’s Capitol and was flanked by other Senators when making his announcement. The fact that Pace should be able to make a significant personal contribution to his campaign should ensure that he fits all the elements of the successful “outsiders” and should have no problem getting his message out.
One more local potential rival has also stepped aside in the last 24 hours. Peachtree City’s Matt Ramsey, the House Majority Whip, has decided to take a pass on this race.
Pace will likely make his decision next week. Given that qualifying is in two months and voting likely to begin in three, others wishing to take a shot at this race should probably be making their intentions known quickly as well.