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Ellabell man is write-in Senate candidate
Raymond Beckworth - photo by Photo by Hallie D. Martin
Raymond Beckworth believes that career politicians are keeping working class people from getting ahead, and he wants to change that.  
Instead of sitting idly by, the 65-year-old Ellabell resident is taking matters into his own hands. He is waging a write-in campaign for Georgia’s U.S. Senate seat up for grabs next month.
On Nov. 2, Beckworth will face five other candidates in the race for one senate seat: incumbent Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson, Democrat Michael Thurmond, Libertarian Chuck Donovan and write-in candidates Brian Russell Brown of Augusta, and Steve Davis of Alpharetta.
Beckworth said he couldn’t afford to run an expensive campaign and get his name on the ballot. A retired construction worker, Beckworth says that he lives on his monthly Social Security checks.
But Beckworth has been talking to Georgia residents over the past several weeks, instructing them on how to vote for him by writing his name in the space provided on the ballot. Although his name isn’t officially on the ballot, Beckworth is confident he will bag votes.
“I’m running a stealth campaign,” he said. “That means nobody sees me coming. I’m invisible.”
To become a write-in candidate, a person has to file notice of candidacy “no later than the Tuesday after the first Monday in September prior to the election for county, state, and federal elections,” according to the Georgia election law. The person also has to file notice of candidacy to a newspaper and provide the state with the date the notice was published.
According to the Georgia Elections Division website, Beckworth qualified as a write in candidate for the U.S. Senate seat on Thursday, Sept. 2.
Lauren Culbertson, a spokesperson for Isakson’s campaign, wrote in an e-mail that the senator’s campaign is aware of the three people running write-in campaigns but declined to comment further.
Matt Godown, a spokesperson for Donovan’s campaign, said he wasn’t aware of the write-in candidates.
“More power to him,” he said of Beckworth’s write-in campaign. “The more choices the voters have the better, we believe.”
Representative from Thurmond’s campaign did not return calls seeking comment. 
Beckworth said he’s voted for Republicans and Democrats over the years but was never satisfied with one party. 
“I felt like a yo-yo,” he said.
Beckworth realized that career politicians were holding workers like him back and said they were using a tax code that was unfair to people like him – people making less than $90,000 a year. He said the tax code is “designed and engineered” against workers who invest time and energy. But corporate officials in the top tiers of companies are the ones reaping the profits, Beckworth said.
“It took a while. It took 65 years to figure it out,” he said, “Democrats and Republicans are not for the working people. Majority of us never realized the American dream.”
Fixing the way workers are taxed is Beckworth’s priority
“My whole idea of running is to fix the tax code,” he said.
Besides taxes, Beckworth said that if he ousts Sen. Isakson, he will work to protect the Second Amendment – the right to bear arms, never take money from lobbyists, not raise taxes, fight terrorism and create jobs, among other things.
This isn’t the first time that Beckworth has thrown his hat into politics. He ran as a Democrat against Republican U.S. Congressman Jack Kingston in the 1994 election, but lost. According to records, Kingston received 88,658 votes, or 76 percent, and Beckworth received 27,671 votes, or 24 percent.
Beckworth said that he was too busy making a living the past 16 years to wage a political campaign. But now, he just can’t stand the way Washington politics work.
“I can’t let it go like it’s been,” he said.
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