Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Squires: "I don't prove myself to the party; I prove myself to the individual voter."

Squires again has money concerns. This time it's the millions she'll need to run a statewide campaign to become the first woman in Georgia history to win election to the U.S. Senate.
"I don't think it will be easy," she said. "But . . . if I can't raise money from the people of Georgia, I don't need to be running."
Seven months after popular Sen. Zell Miller (D-Ga.) announced he would not seek re-election, Squires has emerged as the lone Democrat in a race crowded with Republicans.
Best known for publicly calling Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue a racist during a volatile debate on the state flag, Squires said she had no illusions about the uphill battle. She also said she had no doubts about her ability to win, even though she has yet to win the support of her own party leadership.
"Absolutely," the strawberry blonde cheerfully replied when asked if she thought she was electable. Squires said she had been warmly received by rank-and-file voters as word of her candidacy circulated.
"My races have always been grass-roots races," she said. "I have always had to prove myself. But I don't prove myself to the party; I prove myself to the individual voter."
She blames Republicans for running up the deficit and creating unemployment through failed economic policies. And she thinks her populist message will play well with voters if the misery mounts.
"I got into this race because I've become very concerned about the direction of the county," Squires said. "It's absolutely tragic that veterans' benefits have been cut, Social Security has been dipped into to continue to spend, and No Child Left Behind [a major education initiative] has not been funded. I'm a single working parent, and to me those are all prescriptions for disaster."