GA-SEN: State Labor Commissioner Considering A Challenge To Johnny Isakson

For over a year now, R.J. Hadley has been the only Democrat challenging Republican U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson in this year's midterm elections.

Now comes news that Georgia Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond is strongly leaning towards entering the race with just two weeks left until candidate qualifying.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond has told The Associated Press he's leaning toward a run for U.S. Senate.

The 57-year-old Democrat says he is strongly considering a challenge to Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson. Thurmond says his experience as labor commissioner would serve him well if he decides to run, because jobs are a top priority for the nation.

Thurmond, an Athens native, says he will announce his decision on Wednesday.

Haines, Errin (2010-4-16). AP: Georgia labor chief leaning toward Senate bid. Macon Telegraph. Retrieved on 2010-4-16.

News like this must really annoy R.J. Hadley.

If it doesn't annoy him, it certainly annoys me.

For nearly a year, R.J. Hadley has invested his time, energy and money into a race that no one wanted to take on until now.

If Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond decides to run, I'm casting my vote for R.J. Hadley in the Democratic primary. I have no personal animosity towards Thurmond. I just believe that Hadley should be rewarded for taking one for the team this long.

Candidate qualifying for Georgia's U.S. Senate seat begins April 26th.

CQ Politics rates Johnny Isakson's Senate seat as "safe Republican."

[UPDATE:] R.J. Hadley commented on the possible candidacy of Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond --

"It looks like an establishment politician is looking to enter the race at the final hour. We've seen this before. It's politics as usual. We showed the leadership needed to step forward EARLY when everyone said the incumbent was unbeatable. We showed the courage to take our campaign into hostile territory. For me, this is about the people not the politics. Those who will continue to stand and fight with me, I thank you."

Tags: Election 2010, GA-Sen (all tags)

Comments

9 Comments

Wait --

I hear what you're saying, but mightn't a primary contest be a good thing here?  Seems like the eventual nominee could benefit from any free media, esp. stories about winning the primary election, to help make the general competitive.

by bruorton 2010-04-16 08:33AM | 0 recs
A primary contest might be a good thing. . .

. . .Except that in a race between a candidate with high statewide name ID and a statewide candidate with little statewide name ID, there is no contest.

Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond has won a minimum of two statewide elections.  He is the First Vice-Chairman for the state Democratic Party.  And Thurmond is a DNC member.

Contrast that to R.J. Hadley, who is little known outside of his Rockdale County base.  When most people hear that Hadley is running for U.S. Senate, they say "R.J. who?"

Barring any unforeseen scandals, Commissioner Thurmond will steamroll Hadley in the July Democratic primary.  The media coverage will be "Thurmond easily won the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate."  And I don't see how those sort of news stories help soften Johnny Isakson.

by Andre Walker 2010-04-16 08:59AM | 0 recs
RE: A primary contest might be a good thing. . .

What are the requirements for qualifying for the ballot?

I see where you are coming from, but I can't view it as a bad thing for a Democrat with higher name recognition to jump in this race. At the very least there will be two Democrats holding campaign events and making the case against Isakson for the next three months.

by desmoinesdem 2010-04-16 09:15AM | 0 recs
RE: A primary contest might be a good thing. . .

In order to qualify for the Democratic primary ballot, an individual must pay a qualifying fee to the state Democratic Party.

The fee, set by the Secretary of State, is usually 3% of the office's annual salary.  For U.S. Senate, that is $5,220.00.

For the record, I'm not saying Commissioner Thurmond is a bad candidate.  I believe he'll be a very strong candidate.  I'm just annoyed at him jumping in at the last possible moment after R.J. Hadley has spent months crisscrossing the state.

by Andre Walker 2010-04-16 09:23AM | 0 recs
RE: A primary contest might be a good thing. . .

That's how supporters of Bob Krause feel about Roxanne Conlin jumping in the IA-Sen primary six months after he'd been working. It doesn't seem fair, but it's how politics works.

by desmoinesdem 2010-04-16 09:37PM | 0 recs
RE: GA-SEN: State Labor Commissioner Considering A Challenge To Johnny Isakson

Contrast that to R.J. Hadley, who is little known outside of his Rockdale County base.  When most people hear that Hadley is running for U.S. Senate, they say "R.J. who?"

Sounds like the best reason to support Thurmond.  I hear your point, though, and I wish it was easier for people who aren't rich or famous or well-connected to run for office and get the support of an oblivious national party that always feels the need to intervene.  And this guy does deserve props for being persistent in a difficult race and no national support.  But if this were my home state, I would be glad to have a candidate who has already been elected statewide, has more experience, and is more well-known.  If nothing else, the issues would be more of a factor for me than rewarding someone for their dedication. 

by bpfish 2010-04-16 11:14AM | 0 recs
RE: GA-SEN: State Labor Commissioner Considering A Challenge To Johnny Isakson

Every cycle we have to sit and wish it could be different. We wish it could be about something other than who has the most money or who is the most connected. But oh well nothing will ever change and there's nothing we can do. When does it end? Who gets to stand up and say enough? Then when the people get shafted, we're left scratching our heads and wondering what went wrong. You know it's ok to look for different results by trying a different approach. Let's talk, rj   http://www.hadleyforussenate.com

by RJ Hadley 2010-04-16 01:00PM | 0 recs
Can't call dibs, dude

Party nominations to run for office aren't first come, first served.  You gotta compete, man!  I don't understand criticizing Thurmond for considering a run.

by NCProsecutor 2010-04-16 11:24AM | 0 recs
Odd

This is one of the oddest front page diaries I have ever seen here.  Attacking a potential candidate for getting in late?  Saying we should support whoever has been in for the longest?  Very odd indeed.

2010 will be a very red election and GA is still yes a Red state, so as you can imagine people have not been jumping all over themselves to jump in.  And considering how much money Isakson will likely have to attack whoever gets in, I would say it makes sense to wait a little while even if he had his mind made up.

 

That being said, I have no problem with Mr. Hadley staying in and making it competitive.  May the best man win.

by Socks The Cat 2010-04-17 04:44PM | 0 recs

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