Wow is all I say say!
The party, the Georgia Democratic Party, once was one of the strongest democratic parties in the entire South since the days of reconstruction has now fallen on extremely hard times as it continues to lose the few remaining rural democrats to the Georgia GOP.
First Alan Powell, then Bob Hanner & Gerald Greene. Now Amy Carter & Ellis Black has jumped ship over to the ever strengthening Georgia GOP, making it 113 to 66. That's a 47 seat margin for the Georgia GOP.
Only 4 rural democrats remain in the democratic caucus.
For decades the democrats held on to power despite other southern states going republican due to the strong hand, or iron fisted rule of the late Tom Murphy, who managed to keep together the fragile coalition of Black Urban & White Rural Democrats toegther.
138 years ago (1872,) James M. Smith (D-Columbus) became governor, which symbolized the end of Reconstruction and the "redemption" of the Democratic Party in Georgia. And every since then the state elected democrats for governor ranging from the former Confederate States of America president Alexander H Hamilton (1882-1883) to a former school dropout in Lester Maddox (1967-1971)
With this past tueday night's election drubbing, the "Old-Guard" conservative Georgia Democratic Party is now officially dead & now a new more centrist democratic party has to be built from the ground up
Can the party rebuild the coalition it once had which spanned over a 40 year period? Yes, but it remains to be seen
Yesterday the caucus elected new leadership in the form of Stacey Abrams, Carolyn Hughley, Doug McKillip, Rashad Taylor, Debbie Buckner, Stephanie Stuckey-Benfield. (Buckner is the only center-right leader in the group). Will Abrams be up for the job? Will the new;y elected caucus leadership call out the GOP when they stray too far to the right on certain issues? We'll see.
One reason that may have led to the quick demise of the party was the hard fought battle of Terry Coleman (D-Eastman) & Larry Walker (D-Perry) for Speaker in 2002 after Murphy was defeated by re-districting.
You have to wonder had Walker become Speaker & not Coleman, then its possible that democrats would have never lost control of the house. Well we'll never know & that's water under the bridge.
The party is represented by most black members from majority-minority districts & these members now have to step up their game. No longer they can just sit back & let the likes of DuBose Porter, Cal Smyre carry the water.
I doubt that they will. Seriously!
One, the GOP doesn't respect the black members of that legislative body. & two, none of them have gravitas to go up against any member of the GOP.
But keep an eye on newly elected State Rep. Dar'Shun Kendrick (D-Lithonia) as a potential early leader for the democratic party, as well as J. Craig Gordon (D-Savannah).
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