Democrat Jim Barksdale, the relatively unknown candidate challenging incumbent Johnny Isakson for U.S. Senate this November, has called for a series of six debates over the fall leading up to election day.
Barksdale, a successful investment banker who serves as CEO of Equity Investment Corporation which he started in 1986, has largely self-funded his campaign so far to the tune of $3 million. Lacking any real name recognition or widespread support from the Democratic establishment, he needs a spark to gain momentum against a firmly entrenched and well funded opponent.\
Isakson is sitting on nearly $6 million in cash, raised in a flurry of fundraisers dating back to 2015. He also enjoys great popularity statewide, facing only token primary opposition and handily defeating his two previous Democratic challengers for Senate.
Said Barksdale in a statement released by his campaign, “I believe voters across Georgia need to hear directly from both major party candidates in Georgia’s only statewide office on the ballot in November. While we may disagree on the issues, I hope that we can agree voters across Georgia stand to benefit by getting the best information they can heading into the voting booth to choose their next U.S. senator.”
Not afraid of a challenge, the Isakson camp was quick to respond, with campaign manager Trey Kilpatrick saying, “We look forward to debating as we have always done in the general election. Johnny has asked our campaign leadership to reach out and begin negotiations with the Barksdale campaign.”
Still a long way for this race, (and particularly Barksdale’s chances) to go, but at least we have the makings of a civil and issues-based race, a welcome departure from some of the mud-slinging going on further up the ballot at the Presidential level.