First off, let me say that I am the Finance Director for Mike Freeman for Congress. Mike is a retired minister and retired Captain in the U.S. Navy Reserve (a chaplain). He's also the only declared Democratic candidate for the Georgia 9th Congressional district special election.
On Sunday night, Representative Nathan Deal (GA-09), a turncoat former Democrat from Gainesville, resigned his seat to run full time for Governor (as well as to avoid a potential ethics investigation).
To everyone in Georgia's surprise, it was announced that the special election to fill his seat would be on
April 27 May 11th, a little over a 6 weeks away!
While this certainly was a surprise it creates a great opportunity for Democrats to achieve what otherwise would be an impossible challenge. With over 10 Republicans running currently (along with a right-wing independent) a single Democrat has taken this challenge because he thinks no race should go unopposed and because he thinks he can best represent the district.
Georgia is no stranger to special elections, with the most famous example occuring in 2007 when Democrat James Marlow narrowly missed a run-off election by around 100 votes. I was a volunteer on that campaign and it still sickens me to think of what could have been done to prevent this, especially since Paul Broun went on to win the run-off election. That race differs from this one in a very important way. Marlow was unable to “secure” the Democratic nod and 2 other Democrats participated- splitting the Democratic vote 3 ways.
In the 9th, Mike Freeman is the only Democratic candidate running. Let me repeat-the ONLY Democrat- with 11 other candidates potentially running that will be splitting the right-wing vote. So instead of dividing up the 40 percent or so of the vote by 3 different candidates (as was the case in the 10th special campaign of 2007) he will be able to garner all of the Democratic support available without opposition.
Mike isn't a professional politician unlike several of his opponents. We think that this fact alone gives us an additional advantage. The campaign strategy is to run an aggressive field plan, with 3 offices opening up this week in the district. We plan to target as many people as possible throughout the 15 counties in the district through canvassing and phonebanking and we need all the help we can get to make the run-off election.
We can shock the political establishment and draw national support which could put Democrats in position to take a Republican seat and define the narrative for the 2010 cycle. Today, we're sending out an email to our supporters asking them to make a contribution of $20.10 to our efforts to kick off Democrats efforts to pick up seats in 2010! If you'd like to join the fight, please visit our ActBlue page or our website. This race is a great opportunity to show the Republicans that Democrats are fighting back, even in very red districts.
Crossposted at Daily Kos.