GAINESVILLE — Two candidates have emerged to oppose District 9 U.S. Rep. Doug Collins of Gainesville in the May 24 Republican primary.
Roger Fitzpatrick of Cleveland and Mike Scupin of Gainesville each have announced they are running.
Also, Bernard Fontaine of Suches has set up an exploratory committee to determine whether he’ll run against Collins, according to his website.
Fitzpatrick and Fontaine opposed Collins in previous primaries. This is the first bid for the seat by Scupin, who is founder of Lanier Tea Party Patriots.
The 9th District includes north Forsyth and some or all of 19 other counties. South Forsyth is in District 7.
Fitzpatrick, a retired educator who serves on the White County Board of Education, said he “offered his support” for Collins after his 2012 defeat, “but here of late, he’s [taken] some votes that I have totally disagreed with.”
He especially took issue with Collins over his support for a spending bill Congress passed in December.
“There are several provisions in there that are totally opposite of conservative values of northeast Georgia,” Fitzpatrick said. “I just feel we need better representation in Washington.”
Scupin, who has worked in regional planning/engineering and owned or was a partner in several businesses, said “the constant dog-and-pony show I receive from the current congressman is the impetus that caused me to run.”
“Over and over, he has promoted his own rising-star interests by following the direction of House leadership,” Scupin said in an email about his bid for the office.
“Time and time again, Doug has voted for measures that are not in the interests of the 9th District.”
Fontaine, who retired from the Georgia National Guard as a brigadier general, also criticizes Collins on his site, saying among other things that Collins “is not afraid to be a big spender or a big taxer.”
While in the past citizens complained about the way things were going, Fontaine said he now sees voters “wanting something done” in what he calls a “political revolution.”
He said Congress hasn’t done enough to slow President Barack Obama down but that he doesn’t believe the country’s problems are an “irretrievable mess.”
Clark Leonard of the FCN regional staff contributed to this report.