mike_thurmond_fc_web.jpgATHENS, Ga. (AP) _ State labor commissioner Mike Thurmond is trying to unseat a GOP goliath in a solidly Republican state to become the first black senator since Reconstruction.

Thurmond, a sharecropper's son, is hoping to beat popular Republican incumbent Johnny Isakson in November.

Though he was seen as a formidable candidate, observers have predicted an uphill battle for Thurmond. His last campaign disclosure filing showed he raised just $117,000 in the first three months of the race.

By comparison, Isakson raised more than $1 million during the same period and at least $8 million overall.

Thurmond turned down a job last year with the U.S. Department of Labor with the Obama administration to help Georgians through the economic downturn.

He's nearing the end of his third term as state commissioner.

 Pictured Above:  Mike Thurmond