Primary challenge to Saxby?

According to Martha Zoller via the Political Insider

In a background meeting of Republican activists last week, [participants] were concerned that Senator [Saxby] Chambliss will be challenged in the 2008 primaries. Republicans don’t like opposition to their sitting elected officials, but if they continue to show complete disdain for the voting public, they will have it. At this moment, there are two members of the Georgia state legislature traveling the state to see if they can garner support for a run against Senator Chambliss.

So who are the two Legislators “traveling the state?”

There was talk of a primary challenge to Sonny last year which never materialized (Ray McBerry wasn’t a serious challenger) so I imagine the current angst will pass and Saxby will be the GOP’s nominee.


  1. Icarus says:

    I see Lindsey Graham as much more vulnerable than Saxby.

    I think Saxby is getting the message on the immigration bill, based on discussions with a couple of his staffers, and the letter he issued with Isakson.

    If someone decides to go after him on his farm bill spending, that might get the challenger some votes in Suburban Atlanta, but will probably cost him more swing voters in South Georgia during both the primary and general.

    I think Saxby’s bigger threat is that upset Republicans stay home or protest vote in the general.

  2. IndyInjun says:

    GOPers must ask themselves exactly what they and their party stand for if Chambliss has no opposition.

    I figure that is highly probable that SOMEWHERE IN THE GA GOP, SOMEONE has the balls to take him on.

    Otherwise they can kiss that seat goodbye.

  3. Icarus says:

    I’m not saying he won’t be challenged. My point (as if I have one) is about the politics of the situation.

    Whomever challenges Saxby will be an anti-establishment candidate. Anti-establishment = underfunded.

    Underfunded candidates rely on earned media.

    To get significant earned media, this presumed candidate will have to rely on hyperbolic statements about immigration. The media will take these comments, magnify them, and the person will, rightly or wrongly, end up looking like a far-right wing extremist bigot, and make Saxby look centrist/moderate/normal. (choose you own invective here).

    Saxby still takes the primary, but supporters of the challenger remain bitter, don’t support Saxby in the general, and the general election is a nail biter.

  4. Tommy_a2b says:

    Come on, someone has to have some ideas who the chaallengers may be. Who have you seen that is out of place. I’m guessing they are probably State Senators.

  5. Icarus says:


    Do you want facts, or just wild speculation?

    I have no facts, but a vivid imagination.

  6. IndyInjun says:

    Icarus –

    Saxby went off the conservative reservation LONG before his little amnesty misadventure . As I posted elsewhere, more revelations break every day about the utter corruption of Washington and he rubber stamped the last 6 years of it AND voted for $trillions in unfunded liablities with the Delta pension bailouts, Medicare D and every other obscene spending bill out forth by Bush.

    If what you say is true, everything bought with the blood of patriots is now lost.

    Any competent opponent can beat up on Chambliss and look like a PATRIOT AND A SAGE in the process.

    But then, $2 million buys a lot of dung, as Cleland (who deserved to lose, but not because of the character assassination) found out.

    So is what we both have concluded is that any chance of defeating him lies with a Dem.

    I would say that the quickest path to STARDOM would be to take him on, win oe lose.

    Everyone I talk to has HAD IT with the GOP and trotting out Saxby will bode well for the Dems.

  7. Icarus says:

    “Everyone I talk to has HAD IT with the GOP and trotting out Saxby will bode well for the Dems. ”

    I’m guessing you talk to a lot of people, but listen to very few. One of the reasons I quit attending organized Republican functions is that I always seemed to be sitting next to the one person in the room who was ticked that all their hard work had been squandered by those currently in power, and the only way to fix things is to throw everyone out and start over.

    There were people like this 20 years ago, and there’s always a fresh crop that thinks they need to stick it to the ones they helped elect for not voting in lockstep with what they wanted.

    Indy, we actually agree on more things than you would believe, but if you believe that electing dems is a good way to show the GOP the way, you’ll never see a Republican, or more importantly, Conservative majority ever again.

    We all get it. You’ve been let down by all elected Republicans. We get that as much as Bull Moose likes John McCain. But a “throw all the bums out” mentality is not a practical solution, nor will it achieve your ultimate goals.

  8. IndyInjun says:

    We never had a CONSERVATIVE majority and if what we did get from the GOP was an indicator, I will be forced to reconsider my position that a “D” on a ballot means “Damned”

    All the GOP has to do is find a grasp on its PRINCIPLES, otherwise Saxby is an obstacle to ever seeing CONSERVATIVES in power.

    My ulitmate goal is to prevent national bankruptcy, the brink to which the GOP of Chambliss has brought us and has us teetering.

    The failure of the man is simply stunning and the thought that no “conservative” will find a voice in opposition is frightening.

  9. Icarus says:

    Simply wild guesses:

    I think House members are usually a little more “reactionary” and thus more likely to challenge an establishment candidate. I also don’t see this person coming from South Georgia, where I think Saxby’s stance on farm spending is viewed as a plus. The person is also not as likely to be from Central Georgia, since that’s Saxby’s home base. I think this person is most likely concerned about immigration most of all.

    I’ve got no guesses as to who the House member that might fit this profile would be. The ones I work with most often either don’t have the desire to move up that far, or don’t want to challenge the establishment that boldly.

    As for the Senate, Chip Pearson comes to mind first, just because he carried the water on Georgia’s recent illegal immigration bill. He’s respected among his peers, but not far enough up the leadership food chain that he’s giving up plum assignments to take the risk. I think, overall, he’s too pragmatic to make this kind of leap.

    Ralph Hudgens has clearly expressed a desire to move up to a D.C. slot, and he can’t be relishing a primary for his own seat that he may well lose.

    Mitch Seabaugh also has designs on D.C., and won his seat by challenging a sitting Republican State Senator.

    And I’m not sure if anyone ever knows what Nancy Schaefer might be thinking, but she has run one impossible state wide race before, and I think she fits the profile I outlined above.

    Again, all total guesses, with absolutely no basis in fact.

  10. Bill Simon says:

    Yeah! Let’s get Ralph Hudgens to run against Saxby! I’ll start a Draft Ralph campaign….

    …of course, lots of folks will presume the “Ralph” is Ralph Reed and climb onboard…

  11. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    As for the Senate, Chip Pearson comes to mind first, just because he carried the water on Georgia’s recent illegal immigration bill.

    Do you mean Chip Rogers?

  12. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    “Mitch Seabaugh also has designs on D.C., and won his seat by challenging a sitting Republican State Senator.”

    Whoa! Talk about scraping at teh bottom of the barrell….lol

  13. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    CRogers vs. Chambliss? I’d take Rogers any day. He just has to get his name out there.

  14. Seth Millican says:

    Chip Rogers’ star in the State Senate is rising quickly. Of course I can’t speak for him, but I doubt very seriously that he’d forsake that for an extremely risky run against an entrenched Republican incumbent.

    Jackson, you should take time to get to know Martha Zoller – I think you’d change your opinion of her quickly. She’s a great person, and you look foolish by making those sort of i’gnernt comments.

  15. Romegaguy says:

    “And I’m not sure if anyone ever knows what Nancy Schaefer might be thinking….”

    Not sure anyone has ever used the phrase thinking in the same sentence as Nancy Schaefer before

  16. DoubleDawg3 says:

    I don’t think Chip Rogers would run against Saxby, but I could actually see it – only b/c Chip Rogers is one of the few politicians in office b/c he wants to make a difference, not to make a name for himself (yeah, he’s making a name for himself – but I bet he could care less about all that).

    I’d vote for Chip Rogers in a heartbeat for any race that he runs in (and I know there are thousands of others just like me, many who comment on here)

  17. DoubleDawg3 says:

    Also – can someone please BEG Jack Kingston to run? (He doesn’t have a lot to lose, seniority wise, with the GOP in the minority now)

    The wrong guy ran for Senate when the Dems packed Kingston and Saxby into the same district!

  18. Icarus says:

    I like Kingston a lot, but I think he’s too loyal to the party to challenge Saxby (and I’m still willing to support Saxby, myself).

    Thanks for throwing another name out here, since I’m the only other one willing to jump in the wild speculation game.

  19. steelfist says:

    Jack Kingston is a joke. He wouldn’t know how to begin to run a state-wide campaign. It would be about as successful as his campaign for House GOP Conference Chair.

  20. Icarus says:

    This story has been out long enough that someone on here has to know who these legislators are, if they really exist. I’m beginning to think this is a wishful rumor on someone’s part.

  21. IndyInjun says:

    Time is the enemy of Chambliss, despite its much-needed assist in erasing memories of his amnesty duplicity.

    He has been a rent-boy for Bush and every passing day gives the people a greater view of just how terrible this administration has been. Saxby and his cronies resolutely refused to investigate, despite the loud protestations of the Inspector General corps, so the Dems have had the simple task of holding hearings on IG findings. Bush had Chambliss as reliably in control as a dog on a leash and apparently still does. The corruption is simply shocking and exit polls in 2006 indicated that it was a salient issue. This factor will be devastating in 2008.

    Then there is the matter of the war, to which Saxby is also joined at the hip. Even in the ‘red-states’ sentiment is solidly shifted. When fall comes, with it comes the inescapable day of reckoning as the ‘surge’ will have produced NOTHING except the deaths of more of our heros.

    Chambliss and the GOP are shackled to a sinking ship, yet here we have folks remaining in denial about REFORM and a return to CONSERVATISM.

    The cascade of CONSERVATIVE voices imploring reform, while saying it probably will happen via a Dem blowout of GOP incumbents, includes Buchanan, Will, Noonan, Buckley, and others.

    There remains time to save the GOP, but the only way to do it is to EMBRACE firebrands who reject the Bush-Chambliss-Isakson gang.

  22. jsm says:

    I heard Joe McCutcheon mention this morning that State Senator Jeff Chapman may challenge Saxby. He said he was going to try to pin him down at a lunch meeting today. Anybody know anything about this guy and the possibility?

  23. McCutchen. Joe is trying to convince Chapman to run. But he is also trying to convince anyone to run . He is very much an anti-establishment guy right now.

    As far as who really are…look no further than the two people “exploring the PSC.”

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