Obama contingent heads for Augusta

A contingent from President-elect Barack Obama's campaign is expected to arrive in Augusta this week to help Jim Martin in his bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

Richmond County Democratic Party Chairman Lowell Greenbaum told a group of Columbia County Democrats that Mr. Obama is sending 15 people to Augusta to organize an area campaign on behalf of Mr. Martin for an expected Dec. 2 runoff.

"We are very excited," Mr. Greenbaum said Monday night. "If we knock off Saxby Chambliss, this state is going blue."

The workers are in need of housing during their stay. Mr. Greenbaum asked Columbia County Democrats for their support.

Mr. Martin's campaign has asked Mr. Obama to pay a visit but hasn't received any commitment yet.

Former GOP presidential candidate John McCain will be in Georgia on Thursday stumping for Mr. Chambliss. It will be Mr. McCain's first foray back onto the campaign trail since losing the race for the White House.

A runoff will not become official until Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel certifies election results later this week.

Mr. Chambliss took about 1.9 million votes last week to Mr. Martin's about 1.8 million. Libertarian candidate Allen Buckley won about 128,000 votes.

Associated Press reports were used in this article.

Reach Donnie Fetter at (706) 863-6165 or donnie.fetter@augustachronicle.com