At first blush, you have to wonder if Danny Arencibia and Randy Kitchens have lost their minds.
Both men share a Republican bond. And both of them want to be in the Georgia General Assembly.
Nothing wrong with that. The Republicans own the keys to the Gold Dome. Who wouldn't want to be in that club these days?
But the path they are taking is, shall we say, less traveled.
Arencibia is challenging Democratic leader Calvin Smyre, a fixture in the Georgia House for nearly four decades.
Kitchens is taking on Carolyn Hugley, another Columbus Democrat who holds a leadership role in the House.
Both districts -- Smyre's District 135 seat and Hugley's District 136 seat -- are overwhelmingly black and Democratic. For 38 years, Smyre has never faced Republican opposition. For 20 years, no Republican has ventured into Hugley's south Columbus district race.
"It's David versus Goliath," Arencibia said.
That's one way to look at it.
Republican Sen. Josh McKoon, who represents parts of Muscogee, Harris, Troup and Meriwether counties, agrees that Arencibia and Kitchens are long shots.
"That is certainly true," McKoon said.
But as crazy as these two challenges sound, there is a method to the Republican madness.
"Until the Republican Party runs candidates in every community, then we can't expect our performance among black voters or Hispanic voters to improve," McKoon explained.
So, this is about broadening the Republican message?
"The Republican Party is going to have to engage the black community and the Hispanic community with our message," McKoon said. "And that is not just in Republican-leaning districts, but in all districts. And, that is not just in Columbus, it's across the state."
Don't tell Arencibia, who announced his campaign Monday afternoon at the Government Center, he can't win.
"I don't think I can win -- I know I can win," he said. "With boots on the ground, you can do anything."
There is one thing that does give cause for pause.
Both Smyre's and Hugley's districts have shifted north in the redrawn lines, but not north enough. Smyre's District 135 runs to 54th Street and includes the Northside Baptist precinct.
Hugley's District 136 runs all the way to the Muscogee-Harris County line. She has precincts at St. Andrews Church and Blackmon Road Middle School.
That's a little hope for the challengers, but the math is still stacked against them.
Arencibia is approaching his uphill battle with a positive attitude.
"Hey, what's wrong with it," he suggests. "It is the American way."
Chuck Williams, metro editor, can be reached at email@example.com