MONROE, Ga. — Charles V. Rupert has seen a lot in a career that started in law enforcement and moved on to banking.

He wants to take that experience to Capitol Hill.

Rupert, 69, of Monroe, announced his candidacy for the Republican primary in the 10th District race for Congress.

The winner of the May 2022 GOP primary would be the frontrunner to succeed Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga.

“I’ve been chewing at the bits for a long time, not happy with what’s going on in Congress,” Rupert said in an interview last week.

“I thought about running for Senate, when I saw that that opening (for the House) was going to be coming up for reelection.”

Rupert is a certified fraud examiner with a Bachelor of Arts from Siena Heights College in Michigan. That came after he’d worked in a variety of fields.

“I was in law enforcement for several years and still support the blue all the way,” he said. “Then I did real estate and private investigations, worked as a collections officer for a bank and in corporate security in Michigan.”

He came to Georgia through SunTrust (now Truist) in the bank’s fraud department.

He admitted that although he’s a Republican, he’s jumping into the race “without Republican backing right now.”

“I saw that there were a lot of good Republicans running for that (Senate) position,” he said, referring to the seat now held by Democrat Raphael Warnock.

That’s when Hice decided to give up the seat he’s held since 2015 to run for secretary of state in Georgia.

“I said to myself somebody’s got to take that,” he said, “because we don’t need Democrats coming in the back side and taking that over.”

Rupert said his experience makes him the ideal candidate.

“I’ve worked with legalities for a long time,” he said. “I’ve worked with people a lot. I’ve worked with a lot of different people from different races, but I tend to feel the only race I’m going to be representing is the human race.

“We’re all the same and I think that is one of the things that is drastically missing in the Republican Party right now.”

And he said having worked in law enforcement gives him the courage to take on entrenched leaders in Congress.

“If I can stare down the barrel of a gun, then (Speaker) Nancy Pelosi isn’t going to scare me that much,” he said.

It’s Rupert’s first run for political office. He said that while campaigning and in office if successful, he won’t be beholden to special interests.

“I’m not going to run things their way,” he said. “I’m going to run things the constituents’ way. I’m going to run things the Republicans’ way. I’m willing to negotiate when it’s needed and it’s applicable, but I’m not going to be bullied either.”

The Republican field includes state Rep. Timothy Barr of Lawrenceville, former U.S. Rep. Paul Broun of Athens, businessman Mike Collins of Jackson, former state Revenue Commissioner David Curry of McDonough, publisher Marc McMain of Monroe, businessman Matt Richards of Bethlehem and the latest to announce, recent University of Georgia master’s graduate Andrew Alvey.

Kimberly Clark Reuter of Loganville has announced a campaign as a Democrat.

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