By Johnny Jackson
On Tuesday, Jim Martin spent two hours waiting in line at the Fulton County Annex in order to cast his advance voting ballot.
He was fresh off a recent tour of metro Atlanta where sought to drum up support for his U.S. Senate candidacy by telling voters he is the candidate fighting for middle class.
On Sunday, Martin held a rally on the McDonough Square enroute to other parts of the state, naming the economy and health care as priority issues for his campaign.
"We're going all over the state, reaching out to people," said the 63-year-old Atlanta attorney. "The middle class is being ignored
while the special interests are being catered to in Washington."
Martin hopes to unseat incumbent Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) in the U.S. Senate and defeat Libertarian challenger Allen Buckley on Nov. 4.
Martin has garnered some support from residents in Henry County, including the support of Henry County Democratic Committee Chairman Jim Nichols.
"We get it," Nichols said. "Jim Martin is going to fight for the middle class. Republican policy makers don't understand economic policy. After eight years of Bush economics, supported passionately by Saxby Chambliss, we now stand in the midst of the worst economy we've had since the Great Depression. Leadership has been lacking from Chambliss, and Jim Martin will bring change to Washington."
Martin said his experience in public office at the local level will serve him well in dealing with Washington, while keeping in mind his purpose there would be to serve his constituents in Georgia.
"I have a long record of public service," he said. "Americans are looking for people to go to Washington and work for them and work across party lines."
Martin served, from 2001-2003, as Georgia's Commissioner of the Department of Human Resources, and in the Georgia House of Representatives, from 1983-2001. In 2006, he ran as the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor in Georgia and lost narrowly to Republican Casey Cagle.
He received some of his education from Georgia State University, but earned his law degree from the University of Georgia. He also has a military background. Between his years at school, he did a tour of Vietnam, from 1969-1971, when he earned the rank of lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
For the past few weeks, Martin has been campaigning heavily throughout the state on a platform to bring lower taxes for the middle class, affordable health care, and a strong national defense. He said his priorities include passing legislation that will assist in turning the nation's economy around and repairing the health care system.
"Top down economics doesn't work," he added. "We need to change that to build the middle class infrastructure. There also needs to be health care reform, and so on. My focus would be how these issues affect the middle class."
Martin said he plans to continue to campaign around the state for the remainder of the week.
"I have gone all over the state," he continued. "My efforts are working for middle class Georgians. It's my message, and that's my record."