CBC Pushes DSCC to Come to Majette’s Aid

Posted September 29, 2004 at 6:45pm

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus voiced frustration Wednesday with Senate Democrats’ apparent willingness to write off their colleague and their party’s chances in what they see as a winnable open seat race in Georgia.

In a meeting with Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Jon Corzine (N.J.), CBC Members solicited a stronger commitment from the party to help Rep. Denise Majette (D), who faces an uphill battle against Rep. Johnny Isakson (R).

Isakson has long been considered the frontrunner in the Georgia contest, despite a recent Democratic poll that showed Majette within 5 points of Isakson. All other polling has shown the Republican with a commanding lead over the one-term Congresswoman.

Isakson will begin airing his first television ads since winning the July primary today. Majette has yet to run a single television spot in the race so far.

Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) described Wednesday’s CBC meeting with Corzine as cordial, but one at which Members were clear in their belief that Georgia is in play this cycle.

“We think she can win, I think she can win,” Clay said. “I made the point [to Corzine], ‘don’t rely too heavily on the polling data.’ You can’t predict what’s going to happen. You can’t foresee the future.”

The CBC requested the meeting with Corzine and Clay said the group emphasized that the party shouldn’t be “pulling out of states where we are competitive” at this point in the cycle.

“He got the message loud and clear,” Clay said. “Many spoke on her behalf and she feels emboldened and seems to have momentum on her side.”

Majette herself was also making the case for her candidacy, working the crowd and making plain to Corzine and her colleagues that she has a chance, Members said.

Other CBC Members at the meeting said they told Corzine to invest the DSCC resources and time behind Majette, noting that her success can also help other Georgia Democrats.

Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) said while he couldn’t attend today’s CBC meeting, he shares Members’ sentiments that Majette can win.

He said he will be calling Corzine in the coming days to press him to get the DSCC more involved in Georgia.

“There is a renewed interest in Majette’s Senate race,” Conyers said. “It’s so close, she’s only a few points behind.”

Brad Woodhouse, a spokesman for the DSCC, insisted that the committee is fully involved in Majette’s race.

“We’re the largest single contributor to her campaign,”Woodhouse said. “We have done more than any political organization.”

He stressed that Corzine is personally invested in the Georgia race and has offered to come in to campaign on behalf of Majette. He has committed $15,000 from his leadership PAC to her campaign.

“The DSCC has been engaged in that race and has watched that race and is hopeful about that race just like we have been watching and are hopeful about seeing races develop in Missouri, Kentucky and Pennsylvania,” he said. “We’re proud of what we’re doing down there. We think that she’s a candidate that has real potential.”

Of the five open-seat Senate races in the South this cycle, Democrats are viewed as least likely to hold the sear of retiring Sen. Zell Miller (D-Ga.)

Meanwhile, Isakson will launch a statewide ad campaign today. The ad paints Isakson as the only “real choice” in the race, without mentioning his opponent.

“The only candidate who voted to fund our troops in the war on terror,” an announcer says in the 30-second spot. “The only candidate who authored historic education reform.”