Tuesday marks the day of the Special Election in Georgia’s 9th congressional district to fill the unexpired term of former representative, Nathan Deal, who resigned to run for governor. The term, which will be less than a year in length, figures to give a head start to the winner for the general election in November. Unless, that is, anti-incumbent fever shows no mercy to congressional infants as it showed no mercy in Utah to the senatorial elderly.
There are eight people on the ballot: six Republicans, one Democrat and one Independent. Below are their names and websites. Those names in bold have already qualified for the July 20 primary election (according to the AJC) while those in italics have not yet done so.
Chris Cates, Republican: Cates, a cardiologist from Blairsville is campaigning on his knowledge of health care issues. Cates for Congress website.
Mike Freeman, Democrat: The former Episcopal minister and Navy Reserve chaplain from Gainesville is campaigning on his consensus-building abilities. Freeman is the only candidate to leave the race only to re-enter. Freeman for Congress website.
Tom Graves, Republican: The former Georgia House representative from Ranger is campaigning on conservative principles and strict adherence to the Constitution. He and Lee Hawkins are currently engaged in a mudfest over who is the true conservative. Graves for Congress website.
Lee Hawkins, Republican: The Gainesville dentist and former state senator is campaigning on conservatism and his experience as a state legislator and small-business owner. Lee Hawkins for Congress website.
Bert Loftman, Republican: The retired neurosurgeon from Jasper is campaigning on his health care experience and pushing a “Fair Tax” proposal in which a national sales tax would replace the federal income tax. Loftman for Congress website.
Eugene Moon, Independent: The Gainesville resident and marketing manager for a welding supply company is campaigning on conservative principles, including repealing the health care reform law and pushing for a “Fair Tax” proposal. Moon claims to be the first independent candidate in over 40 years to achieve ballot access in the state of Georgia. Eugene Moon for Congress website.
Bill Stephens, Republican: Stephens, from Cumming, has a history with both Democratic and Republican candidates in Georgia. Having served as spokesman for former Gov. Zell Miller and for the transition team for Gov. Sonny Perdue, he is now campaigning on a platform of reduced government spending, tax breaks for businesses and repeal of the federal health care reform law. Bill Stephens for Congress website.
Steve Tarvin, Republican: The president and CEO of a textile mill in the northwestern city of Chickamauga is campaigning on conservative principles and his experience as a businessman. Tarvin for Congress website.
The polls will be open from 7:00 AM until 7:00 PM. A clear winner will need to have more than 50% of the vote. With a field as crowded as this one a winner may not be determined without a run-off, which would be held June 8, 2010.