Posted: Friday, August 24th 2012 at 10:05pm
Dem Cooley kicks off Congressional campaign
By Marc Eggers Staff
GAINESVILLE – While the dust has yet to settle following a grueling battle for the Republican nomination for the newly created U.S. 9th Congressional District seat, the lone, uncontested Democrat kicked off his campaign.
Jody Cooley, a 51-year old attorney from Gainesville, welcomed an estimated 300 supporters and curiosity seekers to the Laurel Pavilion at Longwood Park Friday evening for the launch of his campaign against another Gainesville attorney, Doug Collins.
Collins earlier this week won the GOP run-off election against challenger Martha Zoller following a nearly-yearlong campaign battle.
Cooley, on the other hand, qualified for his spot on the ballot just hours before the qualifying deadline last May.
"I just wanted to make sure that I could afford to do this. I did not want Democratic opposition, if that was possible," Cooley said.
Acknowledging his efforts will be uphill in the Republican-leaning 9th District, Cooley said, "I know it’s a long shot. It’s something I needed to do in my heart. I just believe that effort is 99-percent of success in any endeavor."
Tom Fitzgerald of Gainesville, a longtime friend of Cooley’s, did not want to miss Cooley’s campaign kickoff. "I’m looking for a great campaign from Jody Cooley…I’ve known him for 25 years."
Cooley’s wife, Lora, is currently serving as his campaign manager. When asked if she thought Republicans might be inclined to be overconfident as they consider the fact that her husband has no political campaign experience whatsoever, her answer was swift.
"No. I think they know Jody; they know he is a serious, viable candidate. And I feel that the people are ready for a change."
When Cooley was asked if he felt he was ready for the rigors of battle leading up to the November general election, Cooley said he did not think there would be that much contention.
"The distinctions between our campaigns are so clear, it's not like we’re going to have to argue a lot over slim differences in position," Cooley explained.
Cooley said that one of his daughters attends Georgia Tech while the other is enrolled at the University of Georgia, and that makes him no stranger to disagreement.
"There’s an awful lot of people in the 9th District that will appreciate the opportunity to vote for a moderate that cares about people-issues…and who doesn’t get bogged down in some of the emotional wedge issues that tend to surface, something that I wish wouldn’t surface."
"This election is not just about taxes and spending; it’s about people."
"And," Cooley said emphatically, "I think we’re going to run fairly well in the district. I’m looking forward to it."
Link: Jody Cooley campaign website
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