Gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter
ATLANTA -- As a candidate for governor, Jason Carter is now the most politically ambitious man in the legislature -- with a famous name that he says probably won't matter much at election time.
"It's not enough to be Jimmy Carter's grandson," Carter said during an interview with 11Alive News -- his first at-length interview since announcing his candidacy in November.
Q: You have won two elections to the state senate. Would you be running and would you be taken seriously if your name was Jason Jones?
Carter: Well, I think the name gives people a reference point.... And thus far, we've had as I said an incredible response from the people of Georgia all over, including people who are not fans, politically, of my family.
Q: Would you agree that your experience in government is limited for somebody running for governor?
Carter: We believe our ideas and what we have to offer to the state is sufficient. And it's certainly better than what we're getting today.
Q: So experience is overrated?
Carter: Well it's not that. It's ten terms in Congress does not prepare you to be a governor either, I think. What we've seen now has been a lot of Washington politics that have been imported into Georgia for the worse.
Q: Four years ago, no Democrat won a statewide race and the demographics haven't changed that much. Wouldn't you have a better chance four years from now?
Carter: We've had consecutive polls where the Governor can't crack fifty percent. Forty seven percent is a losing number.
One week ago, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed pointedly declined to jump on what he called the "bandwagon" for Carter.
Q: What's the deal with you and Kasim Reed?
Carter: I like Kasim. Kasim is my friend. And I think he's done a great job as mayor.
Here's part of what Reed said about Carter.
"I ran for mayor twice. And Jason didn't support me... I'm not a bandwagon jumper. When you offer yourself for office, you gotta get out here. You gotta go through it."
Q: (Reed) said that you haven't been 'out there' enough to win his endorsement.
Carter: What I heard Kasim say is he was going to support the Democratic nominee. And he and I communicate. Again, I'm a supporter of his. And I look forward to getting his support.
Q: He is arguably the top Democrat in the state. Does it say anything about your candidacy that you're not getting a warmer reception from Kasim Reed?
Carter: I think it makes - again - he has said he is going to support the Democratic nominee. And I think at the end of the day, Kasim and I are going to be together on this. And I will look forward to working with him to move the state forward.
Campaign records show that Jason Carter's campaign committee -- and Carter personally -- gave a total of $1,000 to Kasim Reed's re-election campaign in 2012.