Former Stanford swimming captain, 1991 Pan Am Games gold medalist, and Navy SEAL Clay Tippins is taking on a new challenge: politics.
On Thursday, Tippins, 44, filed his paperwork to run for governor of Georgia – in a bid to succeed current governor Nathan Deal, who is term-limited. Tippins is a late fifth addition to the race, where each of the other Republican candidates has experience in government work. This will be Tippins’ first campaign for an elected office, and critics note that he lacks the name recognition and funding of his cohort, but say he could gain favor as an outsider with a blank slate.
Tippins graduated from Stanford in 1995 and is currently tied for the 15th fastest 100 fly time in school history, at 47.61. His 1991 Pan Ams win came in the 4×200 free relay, alongside John Keppeler, Jim Wells, and Eric Diehl.
He joined the SEALs shortly after graduation, then moved back to Silicon Valley to work at a number of startups. Tippins reenlisted in the Navy in the mid-2000s and was dispatched for a tour in Iraq. Now, he is an executive vice president at international information technology consulting firm Capgemini, and resides with his wife and two kids in Atlanta.
The campaign was rumored in early August, and he is expected to make his official announcement in the coming weeks.