These long-shot candidates often bring diverse viewpoints to their races, but with little money and less name identification with voters, they are often relegated to also-ran status.
In the race for governor this year, three Democrats and three Republicans are struggling to break through the noise at the top. For some, like state Sen. Jeff Chapman (R-Brunswick), a solid and respected legislative career has not translated into a splash in a governor's race crowded with better-known and better-funded candidates. Yet, for others, like Ray City Mayor Carl Camon in the Democratic race, or Otis Putnam, an hourly worker at Wal-Mart in Brunswick, on the Republican side, the idea of winning the July 20 primary, a possible runoff in August and a general election in November can leave many scratching their heads.
"We don't have a real handle on why people run who do not stand a chance," said William Boone, the dean of the graduate school at Clark Atlanta University and a political scientist.
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