In a move that surprises, well, basically no one, Jim Martin is running for Senate.
I mean, presumably this all happened. I got an emailed news release from someone I've never met, and there's a Web site on the Internet. There's no FEC filing for his committee yet, but Mr. Martin's spokesman says that's being filed today:
ATLANTA, March 19, 2008 – Jim Martin, former state legislator and Commissioner of the Department of Human Resources, officially entered the race for U.S. Senate against Saxby Chambliss today.
In announcing his candidacy for the race, Martin, a Vietnam War veteran, said, “Today, on the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War, it’s clear that the current administration is on the wrong track. We need a Senator in Washington who answers to Georgians and not to George Bush and Dick Cheney 92% of the time. Senator Chambliss’s uncritical advocacy of the Iraq war has been matched only by his disregard for the soldiers fighting it and their families. I believe we should respect our troops by using them more effectively and taking better care of them when they come home.”
That makes an even half dozen Democrats (Dale Cardwell, Vernon Jones, Rand Knight, Josh Lanier and Maggie Martinez are the others) running for the office. But I would think Martin is easily the best known. I know Amy loves him.
The campaign news release also lists former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, former Gov. Roy Barnes and House Minority Leader DuBose Porter as Martin supporters.
In the early handicapping, another reporter asked me: "Do you think Martin's going to be able to do it?"
Incumbent Republicans with millions of dollars in predominantly red states are tough to beat, you know. I answered with a shrug of the shoulders and said "It depends on whether Obama's the nominee or not."
Sen. Obama's ability to pull in new Democratic voters has been pretty well documented and could change a lot of the election math. So, too, could any statewide referendums the General Assembly ends up putting on the November ballot.
Long way to go. Let's see how his candidacy shakes up the Democratic primary, first. Surely they can't all stay in the race, can they?