State Sen. Hunter Hill (R-Smyrna) has announced that he will run for governor next year.

“I am running to cast a bold vision for Georgia that can only come about with true, conservative leadership,” Hill said in a statement on his campaign website. “Republicans have an opportunity to bring about sweeping change in Georgia, and I refuse to stand by and simply mark time. Georgians expect and demand results, and I am ready to deliver.”

State Sen. Hunter Hill.

Since 2012, Hill has represented Senate District 6, which includes large sections of Buckhead and Sandy Springs. He is president of Tommy Newberry Coaching, a life-coaching business and a U.S. Army Ranger who served in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Hill frequently cites education, healthcare and transportation as his top issues. Last year, he also touted his work in passing the “Beer Jobs Bill,” which expanded the craft beer and liquor business in the state.

Hill won re-election last year, but drew only 52 percent of the vote against a virtually unknown Democratic challenger. That was among other close calls for Republicans in once reliably red districts that preceded the current national attention on a strong Democratic challenger in the area’s 6th Congressional District.

Hill’s campaign website is

Incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal will leave office next year due to term limits. Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp are among those who also have said they will run for governor.

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.