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Senator stresses voter turnout
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Forsyth County News

A bundled up crowd braved the cold and wind Monday morning to hear from U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss in downtown Cumming.

The incumbent Republican senator from Moultrie spoke about issues facing Americans, including energy independence.

"It's a critical time where leadership is more important than ever, and when you look at the opportunity for leadership on the other side, it simply isn't there," he said.

Chambliss faces Democrat Jim Martin and Libertarian Allen Buckley in the Nov. 4 election. A runoff election, if necessary, would be held Dec. 2.

His local visit was the first of a five-stop bus tour Monday that also took the senator to Dahlonega, Cleveland, Clarksville and Gainesville.

Chambliss reviewed his plan for energy independence, including drilling, nuclear power and alternative fuels.

"I'm firmly convinced that our children and grandchildren are not only going to be putting something different in their cars, but they're going to be driving cars that are powered by different resources," he said.

Chambliss introduced his wife of more than 40 years, Julianne, who he joked is his biggest critic.

District 9 state Rep. Nathan Deal also briefly addressed the gathering outside the Forsyth County Courthouse, talking about the importance of sending Republicans to Washington, D.C.

If Democrats take power of the Senate, Deal said, they likely will have a majority on partisan issues.

"That is not good for the American public," he said. "For whatever reason you may have on the other issues, it is important for us to maintain Saxby as one of those Republican votes that would help block their achieving a 60-vote margin in the U.S. Senate.

"You really couldn't ask for anybody that symbolizes what it is to be a true representative at the level that all of us want."

Andy Schneider, the sole demonstrator at the event, said he is not the protesting type but was motivated by the senator's approval of the $700 billion economic rescue plan, which many refer to as a bailout.

"By far, the majority of people in Georgia disapproved of the bailout and he's supposed to be our representative, our public servant," he said. "He's supposed to vote based on people's views and he definitely did not do that."

Chambliss did not talk much about the economy. He did say, however, that with its current state the key issue of energy has been put on the back burner. Should he be re-elected, he plans to make energy solutions a focus for next session.

"The key to this election ... is turnout," Chambliss said. "The folks who don't want John McCain in the White House, the folks that don't want Saxby Chambliss in the U.S. Senate are voting, and that's why we've got to make sure that our people turn out to vote."