Blackmon, Walker throw hats in for Houston state House seat

ATLANTA -- Two days after a Houston County state House seat came open, two area business owners declared their intention to run in an upcoming special election.

Shaw Blackmon, of Bonaire, and Larry Walker III, of Kathleen, both said Friday that they want to succeed Larry O’Neal, who is retiring halfway through his two-year term for a judgeship.

It would be the first elected office for either of the two Republicans.

Blackmon is president and CEO of National Bank Products in Warner Robins. He said, “Georgia is headed in the right direction, but it doesn’t mean we don’t have our challenges.”

Walker, president and CEO of Walker Insurance Agency in Perry, said he believes he is “uniquely qualified at this time to continue Houston County’s legacy of effective representation in Atlanta.”

Both men have long resumes of service on area boards and in church and civic groups. They also both sit on the Houston County Development Authority board.

More candidates may declare intentions for the office. The special election date and candidacy deadline will be sometime this summer, but have yet to be set.

Walker is the son of Larry Walker Jr., who served in the state Legislature from 1972 through 2005, 16 years of which he spent as majority leader.