February 16, 2007
AUGUSTA, Ga.---600,000 people in District 10 are unrepresented right now on Capitol Hill after Congressman Charlie Norwood passed away on Tuesday.
His death leaves an open seat in the United States Congress.
For the first time in more than 12 years, District 10 is not represented by Congressman Norwood.
With Congress continuing on with business as usual, local leaders say the sooner we have representation, the better.
Yesterday, nearly a hundred lawmakers flew south for Rep. Charlie Norwood's funeral. Today, Congress was back in session.
It was business as usual, with representatives voting on legislation.
"Congress is a continuing body, and they are meeting right now, and we are short one representative...so it would be good to get it done fairly expeditiously," said Republican State Rep. Barry Fleming of District 117.
Governor Sonny Perdue will make the first move. Gov. Perdue has to set a date for a special election within ten days of Norwood's death.
Then another 30 days will pass before the special election can be held.
There will not be a primary, so any one who wants to run can.
Democrat Terry Holley lost his bid for the seat last November. He says his name will be back on the ballot.
"I learned a lot in the last election, and I'm ready, and I think the issues have not been resolved," said Holley, currently the 10th District Democratic Chair.
But other potential candidates aren't as quick to join the race.
"A lot of people have talked to me about that, but I want to be very respectful to Congressman Norwood and his family, and there will be time to discuss that next week," said Fleming.
Other names being tossed around include former Augusta mayor Bob Young and state senator Jim Whitehead.
But for now it's all talk and no action until the governor decides to set the date.
The 10th District does have a history of being a Republican district. In the last seven elections, Norwood won the seat.
Whoever is elected will hold the office until the term expires in November 2008.
There is a special election already scheduled in five counties on March 20, so the governor may decide to hold the special election then. If so he'll have to file that order by this Monday (February 19).