ATLANTA – Georgia Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond made it official Wednesday, announcing that he is challenging U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, a number of state and national publications reported.
“It’s time to send someone to Washington who will put you and your family first,” The Associated Press quoted Thurmond as saying. “At this critical juncture in the history of our nation, we need servant leaders in Washington who will forsake political expediency and partisan gridlock.”
“In so-called ‘red state Georgia,’ Michael Thurmond has been elected and re-elected time again, and I believe the people of Georgia will look at the candidates and make the choice on who they believe the best qualified candidate is when the time comes,” GPB quoted Thurmond as saying.
In 1986, Thurmond, an Athens native, was the first African-American elected to the state legislature since Reconstruction. He has served as the state’s labor commissioner since 1998 and was reelected in 2002 and 2006.
Thurmond is the second Democrat to announce his intention to run against Isakson. R.J. Hadley, who previously served as chief of staff in Rockdale County, is also seeking the Democratic nomination.
Isakson said he’s ready for the challenge.
“I am energized and ready to run a vigorous campaign that will give Georgia voters a clear choice,” Isakson said in a statement. “Georgians will get to choose whether they want someone who represents their conservative values or someone who will push the Obama-Reid-Pelosi agenda of government health care, cap and trade taxes, skyrocketing debt, auto bailouts, government takeover of student loans, jobless stimulus packages, terrorist trials in U.S. courts and forced unionization of private sector employees by repealing their secret ballot.”