via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.
Chambliss keeps his ranking member status
for Senate Ag Committee
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or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.
Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), in a run-off election on Tuesday, defeated Democrat
Jim Martin, by a larger than expected 58-42 percent majority, meaning
the Democrats will not have a 60-vote majority that would make it easier
for them to avoid a filibuster during the new Congress. So far, the Democrats
have picked up seven Senate seats during the 2008 election cycle, bringing
their total in the chamber to 58 seats (including two Independent members
who caucus with the Democrats).
Chambliss will retain his ranking member status on the Senate
During the run-off campaign, Chambliss
described his seat as the “firewall” against a filibuster-proof
Democratic majority in the Senate. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.),
Alaska Republican Gov. Sarah Palin, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney
and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee helped campaign for Chambliss.
During the presidential race, McCain won Georgia by 5 points.
Chambliss portrayed his win as an encouraging sign for Republicans
looking to regroup as they head into the next election cycle.
"I'm excited to be the first race that leads us into the 2010 campaign
because it'll be a tough fight," Chambliss said at a victory party.
Martin linked himself to President-elect
Barack Obama and his message of change. While Obama was
a no-show on the campaign trail in Georgia, he did record a radio ad and
automated phone calls for Martin.
Meanwhile, the only Senate race from the
2008 cycle that remains undecided is in Minnesota, where
Sen. Norm Coleman (R) has a lead of fewer than 300 votes over his Democratic
challenger Al Franken during a lengthy hand recount.
Comments: Chambliss was
a major player in the 2008 Farm Bill debate, working closely with Sens.
Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), in an unusual North-South
farm bill coalition.
This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or
retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.