ATLANTA - Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker's Wednesday announcement that he will run for governor on the Democratic ticket did not come as a surprise to former Gov. Roy Barnes, who many experts say will easily be the party frontrunner if he enters the race. The news did draw quick criticism from several well-known political pundits.
"I did know he was considering it," said Barnes, who remains coy about another gubernatorial bid despite mounting speculation by political experts that he will run again. Barnes said he likely will announce his decision in June.
Matt Towery, chairman of Insider Advantage, the Internet news service and polling agency, suggested Baker may have entered the race to discourage Barnes from running.
Shipp believes Baker has fallen out of favor with the black community for how he handled the case of Genarlow Wilson in 2007, a Georgia man sentenced to 10 years for engaging in consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old when he was 17. The Georgia Supreme Court released Wilson, a highly touted prep football prospect at the time, after two years.
"That figured into the decision to get out of the AG race," Shipp said.
Shipp said anytime a black candidate enters a race, it divides the Democratic vote. And since there are not enough black voters in Georgia to elect a black candidate without support from other voters, the white Democratic candidate simply ends up being harmed and the Republican ends up being helped.Now I like Bill Shipp, but he is so wrong on this sunject. This is not 1970, it's 2009 & a black democrat can win in a conservative state if he or she have the right wiews & platforms that can appeal to the elctorate. One case will not deter baker from running & this is a man that have won 3 times statewide. But he has something that can a big asset for him. Zell Miller. The two men are & have remained close & I expect miller to throw his support behind baker for governor even as he has been republicans since 2004.