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GA Dem to Take on Chambliss

Georgia Democrats have their first announced candidate for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Saxby Chambliss, in what promises to be an interesting race. He is Dale Cardwell, a former newsman for WSB-TV, the Atlanta Cox Television affiliate, who has won six Emmys for tough investigative reporting. Cardwell has the kind of bio that should make the DSCC very happy. An excerpt from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution report on Cardwell's entry:

...Cardwell’s family background is hardcore Democrat. He was born in Kentucky and raised in Alabama, the son of a union man, a coal miner.

His wife Angie, of 21 years, is a hospice nurse. He has two children, 19-year-old Adam and 16-year-old Jessica.

Here’s a tidbit from his official bio: His mother “recalls Dale was born during a particularly brutal winter, and [that she] went as far as wrapping her newborn in blankets and placing him on the opened door of the kitchen oven, in order to ward off the single digit temperatures and biting wind that pounded the mobile home in which they lived.

...Dale learned first hand about harsh economic reality while watching his Dad go on strike and fight for better health care and wages as a member of the United Mine Workers of America, and later when his Dad’s mine closed down in 1976. Pending unemployment sent the family once again to the coal fields of Western Kentucky. Dale attended Ohio County High School in Hartford Kentucky, earned co-captain honors on his football team, and graduated with the distinction of student council class president in 1981.

...Says the new candidate: “If you boil both parties down to the salt, the Republican motto is survival of the fittest. The Democratic motto is do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”

Cardwell says his Southern Baptist upbringing would never let him embrace social Darwinism.

It doesn’t sound like Cardwell will be one of those white Democrats who cringe at any mention of religion. He’s a deacon and substitute Sunday school teacher at Dunwoody Baptist.

His bio also lists his hobbies: restoring classic cars, sports, and singing with his brother in their long-time gospel group. So music at fund-raisers will be no problem.

But it won't be easy. Cardwell will likely face Democratic Primary opposition from Vernon Jones, a conservative African American suburban county CEO, who voted for Bush in 2004. Georgia is arguably the second-reddest state, after Utah. But Chambliss has a lackluster record, to put it kindly, and has accomplished little more than serving as an errand boy for various fat cats. This race should be a marquee test of Dems' southern prospects.