The candidate was greeted outside the Polk County Courthouse No. 2 last Tuesday by a crowd of about 30 or so supporters.
Chambliss hopes to challenge incumbent Democrat Sen. Max Cleland in November’s general election.
“Ya’ll are our new friends up here,” said Chambliss in a soft, distinctive South Georgia accent. “Together we can send a common-sense conservative leader to the United States Senate who will represent all of Georgia.”
Chambliss added that his main goal was to take conservative Georgia values to the United States Senate.
That statement was received with a hearty applause from the crowd.
Though most of Chambliss’ politically charged speech addressed Democratic and Republican differences in “fiscal, moral and social issues,” Max-bashing was mostly limited to Cleland’s voting record.
“In just five years, Max Cleland voted repeatedly to increase our taxes, fund a needle exchange program for drug addicts, and use taxpayer dollars to give birth control pills to minors without parental consent,” insisted Chambliss, who currently represents central and southern Georgia’s 8th District.
He is a member of the Armed Services Committee and current chairman of the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security.
Earlier that morning, Chambliss talked outside Rome City Hall.
About 40 supporters lauded Chambliss’ speech, but a demonstrator wearing a yellow chicken costume who stood about 45 feet away drew stares from passing motorists on Broad Street and puzzled looks from Chambliss’ own entourage.
As campaign spokesman for Bob Irvin of Fulton County, another Republican Senatorial hopeful, Rick Richardson said Chambliss’ consistently dodges public debate requests.
Chambliss, a University of Georgia graduate, earned a law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1968.
He and his wife, Julianne, have been married since 1966. They have two children and two grandchildren.
Chambliss was elected to a fourth congressional term in November 2000.