Five democrat candidates challenge Senator Chambliss - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Five democrat candidates challenge Senator Chambliss

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By Alicia Eakin - bio | email

July 4, 2008

Valdosta - Five democratic candidates have thrown their hat in the ring for a Georgia State Senate race.

After this month's primary election, one will take on Republican Senator and incumbent Saxby Chambliss.

Josh Lanier may not be a household name but he believes his 35 year career as a staff member in the Senate and House makes him the perfect person to challenge incumbent Senator Saxby Chambliss.

"The system I've seen is broken. We have a cancer on our political system called money," Lanier says.

He says getting the money out of politics is the only way to get our country and state back on the right track.

"What we need to do is get the money out of the system and put the power and focus back on the individual voter. Those are the kinds of changes we've got to make in Washington if we are going to make any progress," he adds.

After over a decade as a prominent TV journalist in Atlanta, his opponent Dale Cardwell is a household name. He says he saw a need for a fresh face in the senate during his years as an investigative reporter.

"After 23 years of going behind the lines of power and government as an investigative reporter, I simply got sick and tired of Congress not being able to get anything done."

He says he knows how to fix the problem.  "But I know why they can't do it. We don't own our government anymore. Our government has been bought out from under us by giant, multi-national corporations that pay for the campaigns of our bought politicians and tell them how they can and can't vote," Cardwell says.

In a Youtube video, Cardwell accused his opponent Jim Martin of being pushed into the race by several insiders. But Martin says his reason for throwing his hat into the ring is more noble.

"I want to make sure there's someone in Washington who will stand up for the working class and that's me," Martin says.

And he believes his experience will help him do that.

"In my 18 years of legislature, I have stood up for working Georgians and tried to make sure the playing field was fair for them and I don't think anybody in Washington is doing that right now. The special interests are in control."

But Vernon Jones, the Chief Executive Office of DeKalb County says he's got experience too and he's noticed some major issues.

"Working wages are going down while the cost of fuel and food is going up. Something is wrong."

He says he's the best man to shoulder the burden and get things done.

"I want to invest in America and put people back to work so we can save their homes from foreclosures, we are shipping jobs to other countries when right here at home our people are suffering," Jones says.

Last but certainly not least is Rand Knight. A businessman and scientist, Knight says he sees many problems.

"I have a lot of ideas. I know we can put people to work, take care of our debt, look out for healthcare, education and the energy challenge we have in this country right now."

And he knows how to fix them.

"We've got a lot of opportunity for mass transit infrastructure, building hybrid cars, retrofitting our buildings and making them water efficient and energy efficient and all of these create family supporting jobs for people to actually start taking care of the economy and keeping the dollars here in our own back yard," Knight says.

All five men hope to take office, but only one will run against Senator Chambliss. That decision is up to you when the polls open for the primary election on July 15th.

Senator Saxby Chambliss is Georgia's senior Senator.

He was elected in 2002 as Georgia's 63rd US Senator.