Political notebook: Martin begins race for U.S. Senate seat

A third high-profile Democrat has entered the race to unseat U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss in November.

Jim Martin, a former state legislator who served as state human resources commissioner under Govs. Roy Barnes and Sonny Perdue, announced he would seek his party's nomination for Senate.

"On the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War, it's clear that the current administration is on the wrong track," said Martin, a Vietnam War veteran, during his announcement Wednesday. "We need a senator in Washington who answers to Georgians and not to George Bush and Dick Cheney 92 percent of the time. Senator Chambliss's uncritical advocacy of the Iraq war has been matched only by his disregard for the soldiers fighting it and their families. I believe we should respect our troops by using them more effectively and taking better care of them when they come home."

Martin will join DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones and former television news reporter Dale Cardwell on July's primary ballots. Other announced Democrats include Atlanta ecologist Rand Knight, Statesboro businessman Josh Lanier and Hampton teacher Maggie Martinez.

But Martin's campaign already got a big boost with endorsements from: Barnes; former First Lady Rosalynn Carter; Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin; House Minority Leader DuBose Porter; state Rep. Bob Holmes.

"In order to defeat Sen. Chambliss in November, Democrats need a candidate with a broad network of support across Georgia who shares the values of hardworking Georgians," Martin said. "I am a church elder and proud of it. I am a Vietnam War veteran and proud of the service I was able to give to my country. I am a proud father and grandfather. No one is going to take the values of faith, family and patriotism away from me."

Broun gets high approval in GOP poll

U.S. Rep. Paul Broun got good news this week, when a pollster said he's in a good position to win his party's nomination in July.

Broun, a Republican whose 10th district includes Braselton, did not compete in a primary before taking office, winning a special election to replace the late U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood.

According to the poll, 94 percent of the Republican electorate has heard of Broun and 75 percent of GOP voters approve of his performance in Congress so far.

In the poll, 65 percent of Republican primary voters said they felt he should be re-elected and only 18 percent called for a new representative.

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.