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Cynthia McKinney for Congress again?

7:51 PM, Apr 24, 2012   |    comments
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  • Cynthia McKinney in 2011 (yellow outfit)
  • Congressman Hank Johnson (D-4th District)
  • Cynthia McKinney in 2002
    

DECATUR, Ga. (WXIA) -- She's back, or at least it looks like she could be.

Former Democratic Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has filed paperwork to try to raise money for her old 4th District seat.

McKinney is not returning calls about her apparent candidacy yet, but a former supporter warns people not to take her lightly.

"I'm not surprised that she would try to run in this district," said political consultant Jan Selman of Decatur.

Selman, who now supports incumbent Congressman Hank Johnson, credits McKinney with energizing people who felt left out.

"People who had never been involved in politics, the disenfranchised, she was able to reach out to them and that's what made her successful," Selman told 11Alive News on Tuesday.

Known for her fierce outspokenness, McKinney's remarks have often been her undoing.

After six terms in Congress, she came under criticism in 2002 for accusing President Bush of letting the 9/11 attacks happen to make war profits.

Her late father and frequent campaign manager, former State Representative Billy McKinney, also got her in hot water that year for an anti-semitic outburst on 11Alive News.

"Jews have bought everybody, Jews, J-e-w-s," her father said.

His daughter tried to distance herself from the comment, but she ended up losing the 2002 Democratic Primary to challenger Denise Majette.

At the time, McKinney tried to blame Republican crossover voters.

"It looks like the Republicans wanted to beat me more than the Democrats wanted to keep me," she said.

But McKinney staged a comeback, managing to win her seat again in 2004 when Majette decided to run for the U.S. Senate.

But controversy continued to follow the outspoken McKinney and she lost again in the 2006 Democratic Primary to challenger Hank Johnson.

Since then she's made waves when Israel's Navy arrested her for trying to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza through their 2009 blockade.

They said she could have made other arrangements to get it through.

Then in May of 2011 she appeared on Libyan TV blasting the U.S. in support of besieged dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

This time around, she's indicated she could run under the Green Party banner.

She was their unsuccessful Presidential candidate in 2008.

That sets up a potential three way general election next fall with her facing Democrat incumbent Johnson and a GOP challenger.

While the district has remained Democratic for several years, some wonder if McKinney and Johnson could end up splitting that vote in favor of the Republican challenger.

Whatever happens, consultant Selman warns people not to rule out McKinney.

"In politics anything's possible," she adds.

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