Democrats Eye Potential Candidates in U.S. Senate Race

May 8, 2013

Which Democrat will run in a U.S. Senate contest to fill a seat currently held by retiring Republican U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss? That’s the question after Democratic Congressman John Barrow announced Tuesday he doesn’t intend to participate in the race.

Michelle Nunn, the CEO of a major nonprofit and daughter of former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, has been discussing a potential run with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Political experts also say state representative Scott Holcomb is another possibility.

Congressman John Barrow with Congressman John Lewis at the Georgia Capitol, May 23, 2012
Credit Denis O'Hayer/WABE News

Democratic Party of Georgia Chairman Mike Berlon says both candidates have a good shot of winning because of changing demographics in the state.

“As those things change and as those things progress we’re pretty confident we can win statewide.”

However, Berlon says Democrats hope to avoid a primary contest in the race. 

University of Georgia Political Science Professor Charles Bulloch also says Georgia’s demographics are changing. But he predicts the changes won’t have an impact until 2018.

“By 2014 it’s not likely the demographic changes which are coming to Georgia will move sufficiently to make this a state which is likely to elect a Democrat statewide.”

A spokesperson for Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee says “Republicans have a strong field of candidates that represent Georgia values and will win in 2014.”

Republicans have a strong field of candidates that represent Georgia values and will win in 2014.

Meanwhile, Republican Congressman Jack Kingston, Congressman Paul Broun and Congressman Phil Gingrey have already announced their intentions to run.

Congressman Barrow plans to run for re-election in his current district.