A former Navy SEAL entered the GOP gubernatorial primary on Wednesday.
Clay Tippins, an Atlanta-based high-tech executive, served with SEAL Team One in 2000 and then as a SEAL reservist through 2016, where he achieved the rank of lieutenant commander while serving with SEAL Team 18.
In 2015, Tippins deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Inherent Resolve and was decorated for contributions to counter ISIS strike operations.
Tippins was born in Cobb County and raised in Gwinnett. He is a graduate of Shiloh High School where he was an All-American high school swimmer, high school national champion and a gold medal winner at the 1991 Pan American Games.
He earned a swimming scholarship to Stanford University and was a member of three National Championship swim teams and a collegiate All-American Captain of the 1995 team. He graduated with honors having studied political science.
Following Stanford, Tippins entered Navy Officer Candidate School, and graduated from BUD/S (Basis Underwater Demolition/SEAL) training.
In 2000, Tippins entered the private sector as a strategic consultant, program manager and entrepreneur at various technology startups, software and insurance companies in Silicon Valley and Atlanta.
So far, five Republicans are running for Georgia governor, including Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, state Sen. Michael Williams and former state senator Hunter Hill, and Marc Alan Urbach.
Two former state representatives, Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans, have announced on the Democratic side.