As we attempt to rebuild the Georgia Democratic Party, it is essential that we establish a moderate tone for the state party & bring back those disaffected by the 2010 campaign. The first step in doing that is to replace Jane Kidd with Darryl Hicks who's mix of rural/urban appeal would be a huge asset in getting the party back on its game in competing with the Georgia GOP.
Or select Mike Berlon of Gwinnett County. Berlon has run for office, worked with many candidates over the years in both grass roots and statewide campaigns, most recently as Carol Porter’s campaign manager for Lt. Governor, has spent several years as a county party chair and is the only candidate with a short and long term written plan for success.
Hicks centrist themes, plus his roots being born & raised in Taylor County will show voters, especially those who have drifted away from the party over the past decade that the party is paying attention to their concerns & is not a clone of the much more liberal National Democratic Party.
In addition, the party then needs to:
1) Nominate Wendy Davis of Floyd County as Vice-Chair of DPG. Davis, Davis, twenty-year political veteran, has returned to Georgia to serve as my campaign manager. In the last 17 months, Wendy has worked in 22 states as National Field and Training Director for 21st Century Democrats and as a senior political staff member for Governor Bill Richardson’s Presidential campaign. A Georgia native, she is a DPG state committee member, former president of the Young Democrats of Georgia, and active with the Floyd County Dems. Wendy has worked around the state for many notable Democrats such as Secretaries of State Max Cleland, Lewis Massey and Cathy Cox; Congressman Sanford Bishop; State Senator Steve Henson; former Atlanta City Council Member Doug Alexander.
2) Nominate Chris Sloan of Troup County as Vice-Chair of County Parties. Sloan is a 28 year old rural democrat who chairs the Troup County Democratic Party. Sloan, a workaholic & devoted democrat is from a demographic that the party needs to bring back into the party: Rural, White Male voters. His passion & drive, is a asset to the party & not taking anything away from RJ Hadley & Will Fowlkes, but Sloan is the critical piece of this puzzle if the party wants to regain a foothold in our rural communities.
3) Nominate Miguel Camacho of Chatham County as Vice-Chair of Candidate Recruitment. Camacho is the Chairman of Candidate Recruitment for Chatham County one of only two County's in Georgia than ran a Democratic challenger against every Republican incumbent in the Georgia State Assembly who's district includes Chatham County. Chatham County received the 2010 Georgia Association of Democratic County Chair's President Award for outstanding and meritorious service for our recruiting efforts. Chatham is one of the few counties where democrats have prospered during the last 10 years.
Most of the Congressional Chairs races are nor-competitive, but for the 2nd, 1st, 11th, 5th & 12th, these districts need chairs who have a vision for "outside the box thinking" & not the same 'ol tactics that have been used for years by democrats.
In the 1st, you can't go wrong with Jeana Brown, a rural activist who has track record of success of electing dems on the local level or Will Claiborne, a former staffer for then-senator Zell Miller (D-Young Harris) who may bring some of the former governor's views & ideas to the crimson-red district.
In the 2nd, you can't go wrong with myself, who knows how important rural Georgia will be to the party regardless if the region cede power to North Georgia & addition being vice-chair of Macon Co Dems or Jeanne Dugas who ran the successful Muscogee Co. Democratic Party, now serves as vice-chair
The 11th would be greatly represented by either Mary Caldwell or Wendy Davis. Both are hard working pols who will get the job done up in NW Georgia
The 12th, its R. Lee Wester of Burke Co. A farmer & contributor to Congressman John Barrow, Webster will bring a different element to the 12th.
In the 5th, it really doesn't matter. Its a democratic district & either Will Curry or Kip Carr would do a fine job.
Now there are two measures that can repair the damage done by the National Democratic Liberal Agenda on Georgia Democrats & for Georgia Democrats to reclaim its standing as the party in the mainstream of Georgia Values:
1) As I mentioned before installing Darryl Hicks as chair & 2) the eventual recruitment of Carol Porter, Dubose Porter, JimMarshall, Rob Teilhet to campaign around the state for local & congressional candidates in 2011 & '12, leading up to 2014 statewide elections. All of these candidates have either centrist/conservative tones that will help remake the party image in the mold of Georgia's conservative electorate. By fomer candidate campaigning for candidates for races like Commissioner, City Council, Mayor, etc that will pay off as a I.O.U. for whoever decides to run for statewide office in 2014 or maybe congressional office in 2012. Getting out on the chicken & peas circuit & appearing with numerous candidates will invaluable for democrats * will payoff down the road in 2-,3 or 4 years.
I believe that we should attempt to develop a image of the party of the working man who are not out to raise taxes, restrict gun rights, legalize Gay Marriage, spend tax dollars on useless programs & instead who supports Family Farms, keeping taxes low for the average working, blue collar family, protect communities from crime, a strong & vibrant public school system for example.
I don't want to see the party of Russell, Nunn & Miller be destroyed, which at this moment is on "Life Support" . Dems have to talk about ways of separating the National Democratic Campaign from the state & local races.
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