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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:58 AM
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Andrew Young acts, talks like candidate for U.S. Senate

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: 9/14/03 ]

Young acts, talks like candidate for U.S. Senate

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

TAMI CHAPPELL / New York Times
Andrew Young is likely to reveal next month whether he will enter Senate race.

What could be the most puzzling political move of the year was hatched 35,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean after a long nap. If civil rights legend and former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young formally announces his bid for the U.S. Senate during the first few weeks of October, as supporters expect, he can trace the beginning of that seemingly out-of-the-blue campaign back to a July 19 flight from Senegal to Atlanta.

Young was aboard a chartered jetliner with a group of businessmen, religious leaders and former politicians headed back home after an international conference. Atlanta businessman Paul C. Rosser recalled that a small group of people, including several former Southern congressmen, were standing in the aisle, stretching their legs and talking. The discussion turned to Georgia's Senate race and the absence of a well-known Democratic candidate.

"We were talking about how everything had become so damn partisan in the Senate how there's a concrete wall in the middle," Rosser said in a recent interview. "We began talking about the kind of person it would take to tear that wall down. And it became very apparent Andy had always been that kind of person."

Back on the ground, leaders of the Georgia Democratic Party, who had been searching desperately for a high-profile candidate to run for the seat being vacated by conservative Democratic Sen. Zell Miller, were unaware any such talk was taking place. Faced with four Republican contenders, including two sitting congressmen, they had floated the names of everyone from Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin to University of Georgia Athletics Director Vince Dooley. All had declined. Young's name was never mentioned. But it was being seriously floated at high altitude, as the 71-year-old Baptist minister, absent from politics for 13 years, excused himself from the conversation to take a nap.

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