When asked about Carter's announcement, Deal spokesman Brian Robinson said the governor was "focused on keeping Georgia the No. 1 place to do business and creating jobs and developing a skilled workforce."
Carter, 38, was first elected to the Georgia Senate in May 2010 and has been at the forefront among Democrats on issues including education and redistricting. Carter said he plans to stay in the state Senate during his gubernatorial bid. His decision to run for governor was first reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
A big question will be how his grandfather will factor into the campaign. The former president said in a statement that he was proud and excited about his grandson's announcement.
"Georgia faces serious challenges ahead and would greatly benefit from a smart and fresh leader focused on improving our schools, creating opportunities for a more prosperous middle class and restoring a sense of trust and transparency back to state government," the elder Carter said.
When Jason Carter first ran for office, the former president didn't start campaigning until a few days before the election. At the time, Carter told The AP he wanted to prove that he could do the hard work on his own and didn't want to be "trading on my family name."
The younger Carter's path would seek to follow that of his grandfather. Jimmy Carter served two terms in the Georgia Senate before running for governor. Although Jimmy Carter lost his first bid in 1966, won four years later.
While Democrats once dominated state politics, the Republicans have been the party in power since 2002 when Sonny Perdue became the first Republican governor of Georgia since Reconstruction. The state has voted for every Republican presidential nominee since 2000, although President Barack Obama garnered 47 percent of voters in 2008. Last year, Obama received 45.5 percent of the vote.