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Statesboro man to announce run for U.S. senate
Josh Lanier to oppose Chambliss
Lanier HeadshotWeb
Statesboro’s Josh Lanier said he expects to announce his candidacy for U.S. senator sometime after Tuesday’s Georgia presidential primary. - photo by Special

A local boy is combining his Georgia roots and Washington experience to challenge U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss for his seat in the upcoming election.

            Statesboro resident Josh Lanier told the Herald he will announce formally in the days following Tuesday's presidential primaries that he is entering the race on the Democratic ticket. He moved back to Statesboro in 2006 after being away for 37 years, primarily to oversee the care of his mother.

            "You're going to have a hometown candidate for the Democratic nomination for the Senate," said Lanier. "The Senate is a place I've worked, I'm very familiar with it and know most of the members."

            Lanier said a number of people around the state and in Washington encouraged him to enter the race. Last fall, he spent 100 days with an exploratory committee, driving around Georgia, meeting with Democratic groups, talking with old members and friends — even stopping at roadside restaurants to chat with the patrons.

            When he approved the exploratory committee, Lanier took an unusual step of requiring them to operate under the rules of pending bipartisan legislation in the U.S. Senate, known as the "Fair Elections Now Act" that, if law today, would provide voluntary public funding for Senate elections. By doing so, he restricted donations to his exploratory committee to a maximum of $100.

            In a video message on his Web site,, Lanier said, "We must face the truth that big money and special interests have paralyzed and polarized our political system."

            He also said that even while exploring the possibility of a run, many people asked him first how much money he had without asking him what he stood for.

            "It's time to say 'enough,'" said Lanier.

            Lanier also said in his message that our national security has been put at risk by the president's occupation of Iraq — sapping our attention for other national security interests, straining our military to the breaking point and costing Americans over $400 million per day. He said we must have the wisdom to rethink Iraq, no matter how often Bush and Chambliss wrap themselves in the flag, sling political jobs like "cut and run," or compare Iraq to Vietnam.

            "After all, one of the big differences between Iraq and Vietnam is that both George Bush and Saxby Chambliss had a plan to 'get out of' Vietnam," said Lanier.

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