- Associated Press - Thursday, May 25, 2017

ATLANTA (AP) - A Democratic state representative has entered the 2018 Georgia governor’s race.

Rep. Stacey Evans of Smyrna says her campaign will focus on how to protect and improve the state’s HOPE college scholarship program.

Evans, who grew up in Ringgold, says she was the first in her family to graduate from college thanks to the program.

Evans is an attorney and has served in the House of Representatives since 2011. She was a vocal opponent of cuts to the HOPE program that year and also has called for creation of a needs-based college scholarship.

Republicans Casey Cagle, Hunter Hill and Brian Kemp also are seeking to replace term-limited Gov. Nathan Deal. Democrat Stacey Abrams is exploring a bid while lining up support from national left-leaning groups and is expected to run.

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