Skip to comments.Insiders expect Majette to run for Miller's seat
Posted on 03/29/2004 3:28:02 AM PST by Engine82
Announcement may come today
By COREY DADE, JIM THARPE The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Published on: 03/28/04
U.S. Rep. Denise Majette will hold a news conference today at the state Capitol to address speculation that she is running for the U.S. Senate, according to campaign officials.
Leaders of the state Democratic Party and people close to Majette (D-Stone Mountain) expect her to announce she will launch a bid for the Senate after only two years in Congress.
Majette's campaign spokeswoman, Cindy Abel, has said only that the congresswoman is prepared today to discuss "rumors" of her Senate aspirations.
Majette did not return calls for comment.
Several sate Democratic officials said they had heard reports of a likely Majette Senate bid, but could not confirm her decision.
"I've heard she's going to run, and I've heard she's not going to," state Democratic Party Chairman Bobby Kahn said Sunday night. "I've heard it both ways."
Kahn said he had no plans to attend Majette's press conference.
Another high-ranking state Democrat, who asked not to be identified, said Majette has definitely decided to run and that she already selected the person she wants to succeed her in the 4th Congressional District.
Democratic leaders say Majette, who rose from obscurity to defeat 10-year incumbent Cynthia McKinney in 2002, has not sought wide party support or consulted them about seeking higher office.
Since U.S. Sen. Zell Miller announced his retirement, Majette was one of several names mentioned to run for his seat, but hers did not make the short list that the party has been discussing in recent weeks.
Until now, all signs indicated that Majette was preparing for a highly anticipated rematch against McKinney, whom Majette defeated with stunning ease in the 2002 Democratic primary. McKinney, Georgia's first African-American woman in Congress, declared her candidacy Saturday.
Majette's entry in the Senate race would complicate the picture for the Democratic Party, which has struggled to come up with a big-name candidate since Miller made his decision to retire last year to retire when his term ends.
The decision has been made even tougher for Georgia Democrats by Miller's criticism of the national party and his backing of the re-election campaign of President Bush.
Republic Congressman Johnny Isakson of Cobb County announced almost immediately for the GOP, followed by three other Republicans Butts County Congressman Mac Collins, former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain and Atlanta businessman Al Bartell.
Party operatives floated the names of several high-profile Democrats from Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin to University of Georgia coaching legend Vince Dooley, but they all declined to run.
Democrats were left with a growing slate of lesser-known candidates.
State Sen. Mary Squires (D-Norcross), state Sen. Nadine Thomas (D-Decatur) and public interest lawyer Gary Glenshaw of Decatur have all announced their intentions to run but none has the enthusiastic backing of the state Democratic Party. Former Libertarian candidate George Anderson has recently said he will also run as a Democrat.
Qualifying for the seat is still months away, but candidates for high-profile races generally announce their intentions a year or more before the general election because of the demanding fund-raising requirements.
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