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With the most immediately recognizable name in the Democratic field, the daughter of former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn said she is running on a platform of job creation through infrastructure investments and immigration reform, debt reduction and education reform that focuses on early childhood education.
She said the best way to achieve her goals for Georgia and the nation will be to work with legislators on both sides of the political aisle. Nunn worked for 13 years in Georgia as executive director of Hands on Atlanta, which steers volunteers to schools and nonprofit groups in Atlanta. She is on leave as chief executive of Points of Light, a national volunteer source created to promote the spirit of volunteering laid out by President George H.W. Bush in his 1989 inaugural address.
"I've spent a good part of my career working across party lines," Nunn said after a brief speech to a gathering at Brunswick's Old City Hall.
Dante Hudson, a lawyer in Brunswick, said he first met Nunn when he started working for Hands on Atlanta in 1998. After seeing her leadership and work ethic, he said he's not surprised to see her running for the U.S. Senate as her first political race.
St. Simons Island resident Linda Muir, also a lawyer, is a campaign volunteer who helped sponsor the gathering Wednesday. She said she got behind Nunn as a candidate because of Nunn's leadership skills.
Muir said Nunn made her a personal promise early in the campaign that if elected she will meet with every member of the Senate in the first year of her term.
"(Nunn)'s good at getting people together from all walks of life," Muir said. "Michelle's ability is to get people to come together for something that's mutually beneficial. She is somebody who definitely can win."
The difficulty of being a Democrat in a Republican-controlled state is not lost on Nunn.
She sets herself apart by drawing a stark contrast between her and the leading candidates in the Republican Senate primary, whom she accuses of using partisan campaign tactics.
"This campaign will ultimately be decided by the wisdom and collaboration of volunteers," she said.
Other Democrats seeking the nomination are Gerald Beckum, John Coyne, Steen Miles, Branko Radulovacki, and Todd Robinson.
Republicans vying for their party's nomination are Randy Asman; U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Augusta; Art Gardner; U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta; Derrick Grayson; U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-1; Sea Island resident and former business executive David Perdue, and Eugene Yu.
Voters in the May 20 party primaries will choose candidates to fill the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Republican Saxby Chambliss.
* Reporter Kelly Quimby writes about government and other local topics. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 321.