Novak on Marshall

Robert Novak notes that Jim Marshall bucked his party’s leadership on a key congressional vote recently. Novak writes:l

Second-term Rep. Jim Marshall of Georgia, facing a serious Republican challenge next year, was the only Democrat Thursday to break party ranks and vote against his party’s pressure for tougher congressional oversight of Iraq.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s resolution demanded investigation of “abuses” arising out of the Iraq war. The resolution obviously would fail in the Republican-controlled House, but Democratic leaders wanted a unanimous party-line vote. Five Democrats voted against the Pelosi resolution at various points, but all were pulled back with the exception of Marshall.

Marshall, a former mayor of Macon, Ga., squeaked through in a newly created district in 2002 and was re-elected easily in 2004. The district has been made more Republican for 2006 because of redistricting, and Marshall will face a formidable foe in former Rep. Mac Collins.

Marshall will be facing former congressman Mac Collins in a newly drawn 8th District that tilts Republican. Notwithstanding that, I would venture to say Marshall is currently the front runner given his incumbency and that he has been a reliable vote for the military — the largest core constituency of both the old and new district. That said, if the President’s numbers improve and Collins campaigns aggressively, he could give Marshall a run for his money.

One last point, I have not confirmed (and probably should call him since I know him), but have heard several people mention that Mac Collins is not using his long time consultant Bob Hydrick for this new race. Collins is rumored to be manning his campaign with the National Republican Congressional Committee’s help.