Skip to comments.Michelle Nunn decides not to run for Senate
Posted on 10/25/2003 4:05:58 AM PDT by Engine82
Michelle Nunn decides not to run for Senate
By RHONDA COOK The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Georgia Democrats remained without a major candidate for the 2004 U.S. Senate election, after the daughter of former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn announced Friday she will not run.
Michelle Nunn said family reasons will keep her out of the race to succeed Sen. Zell Miller (D-Ga.), who is retiring. Nunn, 36, said in an interview that Friday's decision does not preclude an eventual run for elected office.
"It's been a part of my family's heritage, and I feel more strongly about it after thinking about [running]," said Nunn, the founding director of the nonprofit volunteer organization Hands on Atlanta. "This was a wonderful time politically, but it just wasn't the right personal time."
In a prepared statement Friday morning, Nunn said, "In the next few years, I believe that my primary focus is best directed toward my 11-month-old son and family."
Nunn's decision leaves the Democrats with a lone, virtually unknown candidate, state Sen. Mary Squires (D-Norcross). The most publicity Squires has received was when she called Gov. Sonny Perdue a racist earlier this year during the emotional legislative debate over changing the state flag.
The state Democratic Party has not gotten behind Squires, although she says that she thinks it will. Her grass-roots campaign had raised only $5,100 through Sept. 30, compared with $3.5 million raised by the Republican money leader, U.S. Rep. Johnny Isakson.
Nunn "will provide an excellent voice in Democratic politics in the years to come," state Democratic Party Chairman Calvin Smyre said in a prepared statement. "We expect to run a strong campaign for the U.S. Senate and to retain Sen. Miller's seat for the Democratic Party."
Earlier in the month, former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, the civil rights leader who has also served as a U.S. congressman and U.N. ambassador, announced that he would not be a candidate.
Two other top Democrats, Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor and Georgia Secretary of State Cathy Cox, have said they will not run for the Senate and are eyeing the 2006 governor's race.
Party officials have floated the names of three legislators -- Senate Minority Leader Michael Meyer Von Bremen (D-Albany), Speaker Pro Tem DuBose Porter (D-Dublin) and Sen. Carole Jackson (D-Cleveland).
Porter has said family concerns would make a race hard right now; he has four teenage children. "There are a lot of good Democrats in the state who can contribute to this race," he said. "I'm sure we'll find a good candidate for this race."
Meyer Von Bremen, a lawyer with two teenagers, said he is considering a race and hopes to make a decision by the end of next week. "I am giving it thought," Meyer Von Bremen said. "It's worthwhile to consider it. It's all timing."
Jackson could not be reached Friday for comment.
Four Republicans already are raising money and campaigning -- Isakson, U.S. Rep. Mac Collins of Butts County, Godfather's Pizza founder Herman Cain and businessman Al Bartell.
The national GOP, expressing glee at the Democrats' situation, put out a news released headlined, "Democrats still with 'Nunn-thing' in Georgia."
The National Republican Senatorial Committee noted that the Democrats "are still without a candidate -- 375 days until next year's election day." The general election is Nov. 2, 2004. The party primaries are July 20.
Dan Allen, director of communications at the NRSC, said last year's elections of Gov. Sonny Perdue and U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss and next year's re-election effort of President Bush had scared off Georgia Democrats.
"The South is fertile territory for Republicans, and having President Bush on the top of the ticket will help our candidates even more in states like Georgia," Allen said.
Emory University political scientist Merle Black agreed: "The Democrats are looking at a tough Senate battle next year that coincides with a presidential election, and Bush is very popular in Georgia."
Cox and Taylor would have been competitive with the Republican nominee, Black said. "Right now, the Democrats don't have anyone with statewide name recognition."
Michelle Nunn *IS* married. Just because she kept her last name is no reason to trash her. Please know your facts before posting.
Michelle Nunn, who lives in Atlanta and is the founding director of the nonprofit volunteer organization Hands On Atlanta, said she already had discussed the race with her father and will make a decision "in short order."
"I need a few days to give it some serious consideration," said Nunn, the mother of a 10-month-old son. "If I were to do it, I would be looking for new and innovative ways to campaign that are family-friendly."
Where's the husband in all this? I've still seen no reference in any article that she is married. Quit lurking and stick to DU. She didn't have the guts to run anyways.