Even though 10 people officially qualified for the race, there are only four who should be considered serious candidates: Republicans Whitehead, Paul Broun of Athens, and Bill Greene of Braselton, and Democrat James Marlow of Atlanta and Lincolnton. Marlow, an Internet businessman who once worked for Yahoo, is the only major candidate raising the war in Iraq as a primary issue. “I will work every day to bring our involvement in Iraq to an honorable end as quickly as we can, while also protecting our national interests in the region and the world,” Marlow says. “I promise to support our troops. That means not putting them in the wrong place at the wrong time in the wrong numbers. It means taking care of them when they return home wounded.” For the top Republican contenders, the big issue isn’t Iraq but the other I-word: immigration. “Iraq has not been a big thing in our district,” said Whitehead, a former University of Georgia offensive lineman.
“Immigration is the number one issue, pure and simple.” Whitehead contends that “left-wing political activists [are] intentionally registering illegal aliens to vote, including known Al Qaeda terrorists…. This is a pivotal issue for the future of America. We have to have the intestinal fortitude to protect all Americans.”Broun, a Clarke County physician, also rejects Democratic criticisms of Bush and the war and lists the need to “stop the invasion of illegal aliens” as a more pressing issue. “I believe that patriotism runs very deep in Georgia,” Broun said. “I believe our citizens understand the need for victory over our enemies and reject, as I do, the idea of retreat and defeat.” Greene, a political consultant, believes so strongly in securing the borders to stop illegal immigration that he lists it not just as the top issue, but as the top two issues on his campaign website. “Illegal immigrants are a detriment to the American economy and their refusal to assimilate is an affront to American culture,” Greene said. “Amnesty is not an option; we cannot reward people for breaking the law and it will only encourage higher levels of illegal immigration.” Whitehead, Broun and Greene obviously believe that halting the influx of immigrant Mexicans is a more potent issue with the 10th District’s voters than stopping a war that two-thirds of the country agrees has been a tragic mistake.