Broun's victory wasn't the only miracle in recent Georgia politics.
Despite his likely short tenure in Washington, Broun's 2007 upset will remain the "shot heard round the world," or at least around Georgia, for years to come.
Today in the Athens Banner-Herald Tim Echols, treasurer and district spokesman for Rep. Paul Broun, writes about four other Georgia upsets:
• For Republican Paul Coverdell's victory over Democrat Wyche Fowler in the 1992 U.S. Senate race, Coverdell campaign manager Tom Perdue (no relation to Gov. Sonny Perdue) produced a homespun TV ad that many credit with turning the race. It featured a little ol' lady singing a corny jingle, but, hey, it worked. Coverdell's surprise coalition included the Christian Coalition and Libertarians.
• When the GOP's Mack Mattingly brought down legendary Democratic Sen. Herman Talmadge in 1980, Democrat Zell Miller's near upset of Talmadge in the runoff did enough damage for Mattingly to defeat the legendary U.S. senator. Talmadge's wife testified against him before the Senate Ethics Committee, and the campaign began to unravel. To say the GOP was a minority in Georgia then is an understatement. But Mattingly took full advantage of the situation and became a one-term senator.
• Who can forget Casey Cagle's defeat of Ralph Reed in the GOP battle for lieutenant governor in 2006? Cagle should have hired Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Jim Galloway as his press secretary for the relentless pressure he applied in dozens of columns criticizing Reed prior to the primary. As the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal unfolded, Reed was perceived as being too close to Abramoff. Reed's donor report was a "who's who" of movers and shakers across the country, but no amount of money could overcome the negative publicity.
• Sonny Perdue's defeat of Democrat Roy Barnes in the 2002 governor's race was also stunning. Georgia's powerful teachers' unions were upset at Barnes, and the "flaggers" were on the warpath because of Barnes' change of the Georgia flag. Interestingly, Ralph Reed then headed the Georgia Republican Party and designed the get-out-the-vote strategy that resulted in the win by then-little-known Perdue. Also, Perdue owned an airplane and was able to get around the state in record time, taking the travel difficulty factor out of play.