Benedict Says No To Challenging Isakson.

Two sources have told me today that Lee Benedict of Augusta had being asked to take on incumbent Senator Johnny Isakson this year in the Republican Primary. Benedict has run for office twice before; in 2007 for the State Senate seat vacated buy Jim Whitehead, and a 2008 primary challenge to Ben Harbin. Benedict received an endorsement in 2008 from the Republican Liberty Caucus for the Hardin challenge.

I sent an email to Benedict about a potential US Senate run and received this response:

Several people from across Georgia have asked me if I would consider challenging Johnny Isakson for the Republican nomination in 2010. With all of the strong conservative Republicans in this State to ask, I am honored and humbled to be considered worthy of recruitment.

First, let me state that Mr. Isakson was an instrumental part in the growth of the Republican Party in the great State of Georgia, and no one should lose sight of this fact. That being said with sincerity, it is important to note that this does not give one the green light to vote in a fashion that goes against Republican principles.

Mr. Isakson voted for the bailout bill, which is something that no one, let alone a Republican from Georgia, should have voted for. Mr. Isakson voted to confirm Eric Holder as the Attorney General of the United States; the top law enforcement officer in America. Mr. Isakson voted to confirm Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State, America’s top diplomat. While it is certainly true that the President of the United States should have some latitude with filling his cabinet, it is also true that the two aforementioned individuals’ records and histories of radical unconstitutional elitist actions and words should preclude them from serving in any capacity in any government. For the State of Georgia, by way of Mr. Isakson’s votes, to approve of these individuals with agendas contrary to a free republic, is disturbing to say the least.

Mr. Isakson’s history in support of amnesty for illegal aliens is something that I and most Georgians oppose. Georgia has a great product and it is only natural that people would want to come here. But it must be done legally. According to the Georgia Department of Corrections Office of Planning and Analysis (Produced for General Distribution), as of August 01, 2009, there are 2,668 active inmates convicted of felonies sitting in prisons in Georgia who claim foreign birth or citizenship. Any position supporting amnesty is harmful to Georgia, the United States, and the good people therein.

Without getting into the long and tedious details of the bill, it is important to note that Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama inserted an eleventh-hour provision into a $550+ billion spending bill that impacts Georgia’s water supply, something that he has been trying to do for years, without objection from Mr. Isakson.

I would have voted nay on the bailout measure, nay on the confirmation of Eric Holder, nay on the confirmation of Hillary Clinton, and, I would have opposed Mr. Shelby’s provision and any form of amnesty.

In my opinion, the positions taken by Mr. Isakson on these matters warrant a primary challenge. As you know, Georgia has a few more square miles than Delaware, and that being the case, a statewide campaign team is essential. Also noteworthy is the fact that it will cost approximately $5,250 for one to get his/her name on the ballot, plus an additional $750,000-$1,500,000 to traverse Georgia meeting its lovely people in order to be victorious. Mr. Isakson has more than $3.9 million cash on hand in his campaign account. With a primary date of July 20th, it would be difficult for me to raise enough money and build a statewide organizational network to mount a serious challenge to Mr. Isakson.

I have the passion and the ideas required to win a primary election and a general election, and to then serve with honor and distinction in the United States Senate. With all of these attributes, I feel as though time is not a friend, and I cannot in good conscious ask people to devote time and resources to a task of this magnitude.

I am truly honored, but at this time I must say that I wish to devote my energy to the Georgia gubernatorial primary and to some local races right here in Columbia County. To all of those who have asked me to run, I appreciate it more than you will ever know and I will never ever forget it…but at this time I must respectfully decline.

I wish all of you the very best, and I respectfully ask that these concerns be addressed to Mr. Isakson, to whom I also wish well. Thank you all once again, and God bless!


    • polisavvy says:

      I agree with you about Lee. Would you please explain to me why we, as a whole, have become so cynical that when a person writes from his heart he gets torn to shreds? I don’t quite get that mentality.

  1. IndyInjun says:

    Oh but it is front page material.

    In any other year it would not be.

    This year will make 1994 an afterthought and being an incumbent is a dangerous position, especially an incumbent with a voting record so demonstrably damaging to the people and contrary to conservatism.

  2. Bill Greene says:

    I hope and pray that Benedict or ANYONE would primary Isakson this year. Indy is right, THIS is the year to do it. No incumbent is safe, especially ones whose voting record is so horrible.

    The state GOP establishment wouldn’t like it. Which means Benedict or whoever could win, this year. 🙂

    • ZazaPachulia says:

      yeah, you’re right… so where’s our legitimate dem?

      If Barnes ran against Johnny this year, would he have a chance?

      I know we don’t need another Dem in Washington, but at this point, is any incumbent safe? I’m wishing / hoping / praying for someone (even a dem) to run against Westmoreland in the third, but it’s not happening.

      When I visit the ballot booth in the primary and the general, I’m voting against incumbents, period…

    • Diana says:

      You are so right Bill – I talk to people all the time who are just praying for ANYONE to challenge Isakson. I have a lot of respect for Benedict and think he could actually pull it off.

      It’s a mistake for the state and national GOP to think Georgia incumbents are safe and really need to get their heads out of their proverbial behinds and get a clue. The people I talk to are sick of big government – no matter what the party.

  3. IndyInjun says:

    $3.9 million is not enough money to cover up the damage inflicted on the people.

    Just the existence of it and from whence it came could be a millstone.

    This is not an ordinary year. You can sense the fear in the people.

  4. Pine Knot says:

    Primary Isakson, and then primary Saxby next run about. They are nothing but RINOS, and should be ashamed to call themselves Republicans. They have made me ashamed to be a Republican in their district.

    • Republican Lady says:

      What does RINOS stand for please? I see the term but do not know what it stands for so puleeze tell me.

    • Ramblinwreck says:

      I used that term, RINO, in the past but I don’t use it anymore. The reason is that when I look at the GOP leadership at the national and state level and most of the elected officials none of them demonstrate most of the principles in the Republican “what we believe” statements. Virtually none of them show any respect for the Constitution and they all know, or should know, the intent of the enumerated powers. For this reason I’ve come to realize something that many others may have noticed about themselves as well and thats the fact that I must be the RINO in the GOP.

      It will be interesting to see what happens when the TEA Parties begin promoting better candidates who are more faithful to the Constitution than the GOP establishment wants. I also pray that someone will primary Isakson.

      • While looking through the national GOP’s site a few minutes ago, did you know that Republicans are white? (With the exception of the two or 3 people of other races…)

        Also, the Who We Are statement says the party believes in the individual. But I guess the platform makes it clear that the individual still shouldn’t be able to spend their money as they see fit…

        “Millions of Americans suffer from problem or pathological gambling that can destroy families. We support the law prohibiting gambling over the Internet.”

        Also, from the platform… I notice that it’s apparently okay to discriminate based on sexual preference… I guess that’s because people aren’t born gay, they *choose* to be gay, right? While I’m not gay, I have friends who are and would certainly tell you they didn’t really make any choices. It’s like asking people why they choose to be straight.

        “We consider discrimination based on sex, race, age, religion, creed, disability, or national origin to be immoral, and we will strongly enforce anti-discrimination statutes.”

        These are just a couple of the reasons that I choose to be a Libertarian versus associating myself with the GOP. When the GOP becomes a true party of freedom and individualism, it might attract a lot more people.

  5. foray says:

    Lee Benedict is a loser- and anyone that takes him seriously has no credibility

    Johnny is a good conservative leader in the United States Senate and represents our state very well

    Lee Benedict is a wannabee- who should sit down and shut up and quit embarrassing Augusta, Georgia, the Republican Party and the conservative movement.

    • IndyInjun says:

      Johnny is a good conservative leader in the United States Senate and represents our state very well

      Had you said that Johnny is one of the very nicest people you will ever meet in politics and I would have agreed with you.

      What you wrote was total garbage and in no way is an objectively defensible position.

    • Diana says:

      Are you smoking the GOP crack pipe? I’ve been sick of the decline of my party – they at times seem no different than the Dems. We are basically given a choice to vote for a Democrat or a Republicrat – same animal, different name.

      I believe in the principles of my party and it’s about time we get back to them.

  6. Jeremy Jones says:

    I would run against Johnny in an instant. Anyone have an extra million lying around? Yes, I know CW says it would take much more than a million to beat him, but trust me, not much more.

    I have been asked, I even seriously considered at one time, but the reality is, everyone says they want change, they want new blood, new ideas, and then, someone like me, a true Conservative, with no political baggage, the right (and Right) message enters the race, and the people suddenly decide now is not the time for a new-comer.

    I too wish someone would run against him. As I said, I seriously considered it. Remember, I first started this race to defeat an incumbent (Deal) before I scared him away ;). Seriously though, a majority of incumbents must be defeated. Johnny must be defeated even in more calm political climates.

    So, while I am still committed to my CD09 race, I do hereby publicly declare, if someone really wants him gone, call me. Get $250,000 to start the campaign, a clear path to a million before June 1, and I will beat him. Soundly.

    To the two people on this board with whom I have shared this idea, consider the veil of confidence lifted. Feel free to discuss the strengths, and weaknesses, of the complete plan.

    • Icarus says:

      “everyone says they want change”

      No, not actually. A vast majority of us are happy with Isakson.

      “To the two people on this board with whom I have shared this idea, consider the veil of confidence lifted.”

      Dude, you had this as your facebook status update a couple of weeks ago…

      • IndyInjun says:

        A vast majority of us are happy with Isakson.

        I don’t remotely get that sense from anyone not in the GOP “club.”

        There is a very profound and determined anti-incumbent mood and that is without them finding out what Isakson has inflicted. I don’t claim that he even recognizes the extent of the damage – he is a nice guy who just followed orders.

        If somebody with money gets after him, he is gone.

      • Jeremy Jones says:

        Correct, I despise when people use unproven, or unprovable finite terms. I should not have said, “…everyone.”

        I believe only two people read my FB status, thus the two people remark ;).

        Thanks for being one of them.

    • IndyInjun says:

      No offense to Lee, but I don’t think more time was the issue.

      He seems to have patience and dedication, so one day he will succeed.

      It will take someone who breathes fire in this race and withstand the fire that those $millions would surely bring down.

      Someone out of the blue.

  7. Glen Ross says:

    I think Johnny has been a good Senator, not great. However, I don’t think a primary would be an effective means to communicate our distaste to him. Resources are already thin with everyone and their brother running for office this year.

    • IndyInjun says:

      I don’t think a primary would be an effective means to communicate our distaste to him.

      For heaven’s sakes, a primary challenge is the only way to communicate to him.

    • benevolus says:

      “Mommy says we have to have a new leader.”

      Karen Handel must be the term limiters fantasy candidate- she never finishes even one term!

      What difference does it make if a professional politician switches jobs every few years? Unless you are going to prevent them from running for ANYTHING it’s kind of pointless. Just musical chairs.

    • IndyInjun says:

      Someone who sees the situation of USA and Georgia being destroyed in equal measure by the likes of Isakson and Obama cannot seriously describe it as ‘comical’

        • IndyInjun says:

          Poli, no worries. My problem with Isakson is very clearly rooted in his disastrous votes on issues and in his abandonment of principles he swore to uphold.

          You won’t meet a nicer man than Johnny Isakson.

          You also won’t meet one more damaging to your interests.

          Keep it to issues and Isakson looks very bad.

          But then I am more interested in 9 million Georgians and not the GOP “Club” of fakes.

        • polisavvy says:

          I am in 100% agreement with you. My concern is the 9 million Georgians as well; however, that being said, if his foremost concern is not for the 9 million Georgians, then that’s where the problem lies. Some of his votes makes one ponder if he has “Georgia On My Mind” all of the time or if he’s being self-serving.

  8. IndyInjun says:

    Some of his votes makes one ponder ….. if he’s being self-serving.

    Not only do I think Johnny is a nice man, but I won’t even say he is “self-serving.”

    He does what he is told and follows party leadership. He may even believe that what is best for the party is good for Georgia.

    He is not very studious, observant, or dedicated to delving into governance and the import of the matters he is voting on. That is absolutely certain and that is where he has been consistently failing the people.

    For some reason people react viscerally to deceit, even to the extent of overlooking ignorance that was vastly more damaging.

    I won’t malign Johnny for being Johnny. I will hold him accountable for his ruinous voting record.

    • polisavvy says:

      And that’s exactly what we all should do — “hold him accountable for his ruinous voting record.” We should expect more from our leaders than them being just “a nice guy.”

  9. So that’s it? You aren’t happy with your own guy, but he’s got too much money? Georgia’s near the top in poverty level. (14th) We’re at the bottom in most education surveys. You don’t even feel the incumbent promotes your basic principles, but you’ve just got to suck it up?

    Regardless of your political view, we have got to overcome the money barrier to high public service. This is a good part of why corporate interests trumps the needs of the people now in DC.
    Check this:

    Yes I’m a Democrat, so I guess we’re supposed to knock one another, but I don’t accept that it’s government of, by, and for the WEALTHIEST people. I hope you won’t accept it either. – RJ4US

    RJ Hadley – U.S. Senate 2010

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