Georgia Senate runoff may set a spending record - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Georgia Senate runoff may set a spending record

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

November 17, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - They're going for a record in the U.S. Senate runoff-- a spending record.

Saxby Chambliss and Jim Martin are headed for the $15 million mark in their battle over Chambliss' U.S. Senate seat.

They're pulling out all the stops, bringing in Republican and Democratic heavyweights.

From John McCain and Mike Huckabee to Bill Clinton and aides for Barack Obama, voters are being pumped up to head back to the polls in two weeks. And the battle is primarily being fought in metro Atlanta.

 If you listen to the ads, you'd question whether you want either man representing you in Washington. Both accuse the other of being fiscally irresponsible.

Chambliss spokeswoman Michelle Hitt Grasso told us: "He had to reach back to a clip from over a year ago when the Senator made a trip up to make remarks, clearly a time when we weren't facing the economic crisis we are today."

Martin's campaign has also cried foul claims that Martin approved Georgia's largest tax increase back in 1989.

"It's a completely false claim and Saxby Chambliss knows it," said Martin spokesman Matt Canter.  "The truth is that Jim Martin worked with republicans and democrats to pass the largest tax cut in Georgia history. 

The ads set the tone for a brutal battle over a Senate seat that holds national significance.  The seat may well be the one that determines whether Democrats will hold a 60-seat filibuster-proof super-majority in the Senate.  Both the Democrat and Republican National Committees have bought air time, but now the Martin campaign claims Chambliss has brought in three more outside interest groups to derail the democrats campaign.

 "When it comes to outside special interests Saxby Chambliss is the king," said Canter.

"Mr. Martin is so liberal there are groups that have come in not for Senator Chambliss but against Jim Martin and that just goes to show how liberal he is," said Grasso.

Much of the battle is taking place in metro Atlanta where the majority of Georgia voters live.  While neither camp has made a campaign stop in southwest Georgia since the runoff campaign began that could change.  Both the Martin and Chambliss campaign say they're working on plans for rallies in south Georgia before election day December second. 

The Chambliss campaign announced former Governor Mitt Romney will be in Atlanta Friday for a rally and they're still working on details for visits from Rudy Giuliani and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.  The Martin campaign is also working on future rallies.

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