Author Topic: Yes, upsets can happen  (Read 1256 times)


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Yes, upsets can happen
« on: July 18, 2007, 05:16:22 PM »
I thought I would post this to give evidence that the best-funded, most politically connected candidate does not always win.  While the result is still outstanding at this moment, that point has been made regardless.   

Upset Likely in GA-10 Special Election

Paul Broun (R) "was on the verge of declaring an upset victory" for the seat held by the late Charlie Norwood, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. With all but two percent of the votes counted, Broun holds "a scant 371-vote lead" over Jim Whitehead (R).

Cook Political Report: "Talk about a stunner. While most eyes inside the Beltway this week were glued to the latest rush of campaign finance reports, an insurgent yet under-funded candidate in Georgia who received next to no national help toppled a heavily favored establishment candidate whose runoff coronation became such conventional wisdom that he had begun to receive high-fives from national Republicans and 'Welcome to Washington' PAC checks."

CQ notes the final result "will have no impact on the balance of power in the U.S. House, as both candidates who qualified for the runoff to succeed the late conservative Republican incumbent also are conservative Republicans. Yet the fact that the outcome is so close -- and that Broun currently has the lead -- is a stunning turn of events, as Whitehead was widely regarded as the front-runner nearly from the race’s outset."
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Re: Yes, upsets can happen
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2007, 07:34:42 AM »
A follow-up on this. The under-funded, under-endorsed, underdog DID WIN.  Just goes to show you that some jurisdictions do NOT take kindly to having railroaded elections. 

Georgia Conservative Broun Fulfills House Dreams With Special Win

By Rachel Kapochunas   |   8:00 PM; Jul. 24, 2007 |   

Georgia Republican Paul Broun, en route to become the newest member of the U.S. House on Wednesday, says he never lost confidence despite the underdog label he wore throughout his special election contest to succeed the late Republican Rep. Charlie Norwood.

But Broun — a physician who had lost three earlier attempts for Congress more than a decade ago — doesn’t deny that his narrow July 17 win over a fellow Republican, former state Sen. Jim Whitehead, was something of an upset.

“I really thought all along that we could and would win this election if we pulled all the pieces together,” Broun told in an interview last week after the special election runoff, but conceded “we were fighting a tremendous mountain.”

Whitehead — a longtime ally of Norwood, who died of cancer Feb. 13 — had been seen as the front-runner from the moment he entered the race, obtaining most of the endorsements from the Republican establishment and building a huge fundraising lead over his opponents. He finished first in the June 19 special election primary, in which candidates of all parties ran on a single ballot, with 44 percent of the vote; Broun, with 21 percent, barely edged Democrat James Marlow for the second runoff position.

Yet four weeks later, Broun edged Whitehead by 394 votes of 46,664 cast, 50.4 percent to 49.6 percent. The outcome did not become official until a week after the election: Whitehead, entitled under state law to request a recount because the margin of victory was less than 1 percentage point, initially said he was likely to do so. But he reversed himself late Tuesday, saying he had learned a recount could take as much as a week and he did not want to further delay representation in a district that was without a congressman for more than five months.

Though Broun had never served in political office before, his name was familiar to some district residents: His late father, Paul Broun, served as a conservative Democratic state senator for 38 years and a number of public places in the district are named for him.

The younger Broun has long held congressional aspirations, which he said stems from what he called voluntary work defending hunters’ rights for Safari Club International. He waged three unsuccessful bids for Congress, losing to Democratic Rep. Richard Ray in 1990, waging an unsuccessful bid for a 1992 U.S. House nomination in the same western Georgia district, and receiving a minuscule vote share in an unsuccessful 1996 U.S. Senate primary bid.

Like Norwood, who was a dentist, Broun’s life work has been in the medical field. Broun has been a physician since 1971 and expressed pride that his practice is almost exclusively made up of house calls.

Broun believes that Democratic voters played a role in his win, but stressed he won’t be “selling out” his conservative principles because of it. Broun regards himself as a strong constitutionalist who places importance on limited government and low taxes. He pledged during his campaign to apply a “4-Way Test” to all legislation in Congress bills must be constitutional and “a proper function of government”, morally correct, necessary and affordable.

He took hardline positions against illegal immigration and taxes during the campaign and strongly defended property rights.

But Broun said national security should be the number one issue for all lawmakers. Broun, a former Marine, supports the war in Iraq but said he recognizes the demands it has placed on troops.

“The military’s been cut into the muscle and bone and we need to rebuild it so that we don’t have to send [the same] troops to Iraq three times in four years,” Broun said. “We need to do the things necessary to keep our military fighting force the world’s best.”

Broun said that House Republican officials have indicated he will be assigned to the Homeland Security Committee as well as the Science and Technology Committee, positions he believes will allow him to work on national and local issues and will fit his background.

As he heads to Capitol Hill, Broun claims to harbor no ill will toward the Republican lawmakers who supported his favored opponent, and can be expected to side with most members of his party on many issues. But at the same time, Broun is conscious of what it might take to succeed in a Congress in which Democrats hold the majority.

“I’m eager to come to the Hill to work with Democrats as well as Republicans,” Broun said. “Like most people in this country, I hate the partisanship and the political bickering.”

An analysis of the returns showed a strongly regional flavor to Broun’s win in northeastern Georgia’s sprawling 10th Congressional District. Broun’s utterly dominating performance in his home base of populous Clarke County, where he took about 90 percent of the runoff vote, offset Whitehead’s only slightly less overpowering edge in his base in counties surrounding the hometown of Augusta that he had shared with the late Norwood.

Clarke County is the least conservative area of the district, as it is home to the city of Athens and its academic community at the University of Georgia; Clarke went strongly to Democrat Marlow in the free-for-all special election primary.

Yet there appears to be virtually no ideological content to Broun’s supremacy over Whitehead there, as both Republican finalists voiced strongly conservative views during the campaign. Rather, Broun prevailed there because he was as close as the region came to a “favorite son” candidate — and Whitehead was viewed as almost going out of his way to snub Clarke County.

Many Athens residents, including the editorial board of the city’s Banner-Herald newspaper, were angered when Whitehead declined to appear at a special election candidates’ debate at the Athens Press Club. They also took offense to comments Whitehead made in 2004, in what he later defended as a joke, suggesting that the University of Georgia was a liberal bastion that should be eliminated — save for the football team on which he played when he was a student there.

The Athens Banner-Herald editorial board, though highly unenthusiastic about Broun, nonetheless encouraged readers to vote for him to send a message to Whitehead.

Broun, though, disagrees with the characterization of the race as a regional showdown.

“To me, this was not an Athens versus Augusta race,” Broun said. “It was a race of status quo versus somebody who’s going to offer positive change for the people.” Broun said voters were wary of an “anointed candidate” and a party he believes was “trying to have a coronation instead of an election.”

"The problem with quotes on the internet is you can never be certain they're authentic." - Abraham Lincoln


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Re: Yes, upsets can happen
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2007, 06:04:12 PM »
Maybe there is hope after all for Ron Paul.
Sed quis custodiet ipsos cutodes (Who watches the watchmen?)