Georgia's Democratic labor commissioner is running to unseat Republican U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson in this fall's election.
Michael Thurmond is one of the most prominent black Democrats in a state that has increasingly voted Republican in recent years. He announced his campaign Wednesday.
Thurmond's primary opponent in July is a former county employee who has never held elected office.
The winner will face an uphill fight against Isakson, who has more than $4 million in the bank for his re-election bid.
Thurmond has served three terms as labor commissioner. Before that he was a state lawmaker and head of the state's Department of Family and Children's Services.
Isakson recently returned to the campaign trail after being hospitalized for a bacterial infection and an irregular heartbeat.
© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.