Liz Carter got her chance to appear at the Georgia 4th Congressional District candidate's forum, after all. Liz, one of four Republican candidates, had been told she could not attend the event (see earlier RedState coverage here). A flood of calls, messages and tweets to Jim Welcome and Maynard Eaton, the event's organizers, combined with bad press, convinced them to permit Carter into the forum.
From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Earlier Wednesday, Maynard Eaton, the moderator, said he was lambasted with negative messages from Massachusetts to California, two of Carter's former states, suggesting racism. Eaton also insisted he and producer Jim Welcome wouldn't be bullied into including Carter. Eaton said the candidate misconstrued what he said and unfairly brought race into the issue. He said the real problem was nobody knew who she was.
"We didn't try to exclude her; we did not know her," he said. "It is not her party. It's our party. ... She is trying to break into the party."
The only way Maynard Eaton and Jim Welcome couldn't know Liz Carter was willful blindness. She won the Rockdale County Republican's straw poll handily. She spoke at the Atlanta Tea Party on April 15, to the Gwinnett Republicans on April 3 (where she was recorded here talking about Democrat incumbent Hank Johnson), and there has been plenty of news and blog coverage involving her candidacy, including here at RedState. In fact, all Eaton needed to do was visit Georgia's Secretary of State website, where all seven qualifying candidates are listed, including their contact information.
Fortunately, Eaton and Welcome relented and Liz got her chance to speak. The video below the fold includes Liz Carter's and Corey Ruth's remarks. Meanwhile, you can help Liz in her campaign to "Yank Hank" Johnson here.
According to Carter's campaign, lobbying by Democratic candidates Connie Stokes and Vernon Jones also contributed to the change of heart. Both candidates called Carter's campaign prior to the event to state their support for Liz's opportunity to speak.
In fact, Liz Carter attempted to join the forum as early as May 21st, almost two weeks before the event, as soon as the campaign learned about it. In every primary, candidates have difficulty gaining recognition and generating news, but Carter was not unknown. She'd been profiled at RedState on more than one occasion as well as other sites, and had generated news in a multitude of forums relevant to GA-04. The statement that she was not included because she was "unknown" can't be invalidated, but it rings hollow.
But Liz was allowed to attend and got her chance to speak. At first, much of the two candidate's comments focused on the event's controversy itself, but as the tension eased the forum moved into more substantial matters. By the end of the event, Eaton was quoted as saying, "She is good, she is damn good... She was nobody yesterday. She is somebody today." Eaton later contacted the Carter's campaign to state how impressed he was with her. "I'd like to write a story for your campaign," he wrote, "about how I now see you as credible and viable congressional candidate."
Indeed good news and a hopeful sign for the future of this political race.