Wednesday, January 29, 2014

We Need To Be More Open To School Choice Here In Georgia, Especially In The Democratic Party

A better-educated Georgia, and a better-educated family, is a major void in current school reform efforts here in the state. The issues of competition and accountability are all too often ignored in efforts to improve public education. 

Now I'm a strong supporter of public schools, in fact I am a product of the public school system.  But I'm also in favor of school choice, which is a change from a few years ago. Quite simply, I believe in giving parents more choice about where to educate their children. My support of school choice is founded in the common sense premise that no parent should be forced to send a child to a poorly performing school.'

Unfortunately, however, countless parents, especially in the urban cities, are now forced to do just that. Parents in middle and upper-class communities have long practiced school choice. They made sure that their children attended schools where they would get the best possible education. There is no reason why this option should be closed to low-income parents. Education used to be the poor child’s ticket out of poverty. Now it’s part of the system that traps people in the underclass.

Why school choice? 

Two reasons: excellence and accountability. Parents want academic excellence for their children. They also want to know that there is someone in their child’s school who is ACCOUNTABLE for achieving those high academic standards.

In most cities/towns in this state, however, if your child is zoned into a school that is not performing well academically, and where teachers and administrators don’t see themselves as being responsible for academic performance, parents have no recourse. Parents can only send their child to that school and hope for the best. Under a school choice plan, a parent would have options. There would be consequences for a school’s poor performance. Parents could pull their children out of poorly performing schools and enroll them someplace else. If exercising this option leads to a mass exodus from certain underachieving schools, schools will learn this painful lesson: schools will either improve, or close due to declining enrollments.

 Nonetheless, believe that the Democratic Party should re-evaluate its position on school choice issues. 

Choice should not be included in partisan tones. School choice should be about giving our state’s children the best possible educational foundation. Some low-income Black parents here in Georgia have shown they care so much that they will even go so far as to look halfway around the world.....well not around the world, but a neighboring county/city in order to find a good school for their children.

And I've also hear people say that school choice is elitist, or even racist. The truth is that black low-income children are among the prime victims of the state’s failing public schools. Black parents know this all too well. This is why they have been so open to the idea of school choice.

With time, and through open dialogue, critics of school choice will come to see this movement for what it is: part of an emerging new battle for the millennium, the battle for education equity. We need to give poor children the same right that children from more upscale households have long enjoyed. The right to an education that will prepare them to make a meaningful contribution to society. It is that simple

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton) to Run for U.S. Senate


Rarely does Peanut Politics venture outside of Georgia, but in this case it's different.

Shannon with wife and family
Oklahoma's Republican House Speaker T.W. Shannon will run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated early by U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn tomorrow at a series of events scheduled out in Oklahoma

The 35-year-old from Lawton joins two-term U.S. Rep. James Lankford in the race for the state's first open U.S. Senate seat since 2004.
A member of the Chickasaw Nation, Shannon was the first African-American and the youngest speaker of the Oklahoma House when elected last year.
Shannon is a 6th generation Oklahoman and 3rd generation Lawtonian. T.W. is an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation. He is a former Congressional Staffer having worked for U.S. Representatives JC Watts and Tom Cole.

The Biggest Lie Ever Told: The Republicans are for "Small" Government

The Republican Party touts itself as the advocate for small government and individual liberty. Well, that's the biggest lie ever told in Politics.

For all the talk about how Democrats are the party of Big Government, let's keep it real...The Republican Party also love Big Government. A few marginal party activists, like U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, or even Paul Broun of Georgia have championed limited government, even libertarian policies. But this is not at all the norm for the GOP nationally, state and local.

It has also supported government subsidies for religious institutions, government restrictions on immigration and free passage across international boundaries, government denial of collective bargaining rights for public sector workers and government interference with women’s right to abortion and doctors’ right to perform it. The Republicans has rallied around, (Guess what) government interference with the right of same-sex couples to marry, government provision of extraordinarily lengthy imprisonment for drug possession (for example, in the “war on drugs”) and numerous other nonviolent offenses, government interference with voting rights (such as “voter suppression” laws), and government restrictions on freedom of information.

Wait.....now there is plenty of GOP support for small government when it comes to cutting taxes on the wealthy, limiting regulation of big business, gutting environmental regulations, weakening legal protections for workers and minorities, and slashing government funding for public education, public health, and social welfare services. But there is a common thread to this kind of small government action. It is all designed to serve the interests of the wealthy and powerful at the expense of everyone else. (Look here in Georgia for example) Thus, the Republican Party opposes government alleviation of hunger through the distribution of food stamps, but supports government subsidies to corporations. I don't get it!

You can bet and you're already hearing it with this being the year that all 435 members of congress are up and many Senators face re-election and wanna be congressmen, women and senators are vying to occupy some of these seats, there will be plenty of rhetoric about freedom and limited government. But the party’s actual policies will reflect a very different agenda. For THOSE folks who can see beyond the deluge of SLICK campaign advertisements, it should be clear enough that the Republican Party’s claim to support small government  is a fraud, a scam, a outright lie! That claim is only an attractive mask, designed to disguise a party of privilege.

Jim Marshall (D-Macon) Resigns From U.S. Institute of Peace, Could a Return To Politics Be Next?

Former Georgia Congressman Jim Marshall (D-Macon) Steps down as president of U.S. Institute of Peace.


For Immediate Release
Date: January 11, 2014
Contact: Peter Loge, Vice President External Relations
(Washington) - U.S. Institute of Peace President Jim Marshall stepped down on Friday.
“It has been a privilege and honor for me to lead this mission and work with such a talented and dedicated staff,” said Marshall. “The Institute has a bright future and is well positioned for continued success. It was time for a change and this was the right moment to make it.”
 “In his time at USIP Jim led a major effort to energize and focus the Institute, and to advance its important efforts in conflict zones around the world,” said Board Chairman J. Robinson West.  “The Board especially appreciates his success in recruiting top notch staff and developing an ambitious new vision for USIP.”
“Jim has committed his life to public service, as an Army Ranger, as a mayor, as a congressman, and as the President of USIP.  His contributions to the Institute are only further evidence of his dedication to advancing America’s national security,” said West.
“The board is deeply grateful to Jim for his service to the Institute,” said Vice Chairman George Moose.  “We have full confidence in the strategic direction of the Institute, its leadership, and its remarkable staff.   The vital work of the Institute to prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflict around the world will continue, and continue to grow in significance.”
Chairman West welcomed the appointment of Kristin Lord, Executive Vice President of the Institute, as acting President, saying, "The Institute is extremely fortunate to have in Kristin a strong and experienced leader.  I speak on behalf of the full USIP Board in expressing our full confidence in her ability to take the organization forward by implementing the strategic vision that she herself has been central to shaping."

Marshal was named president of the organization after his defeat to Austin Scott in the 2010 elections. With his resignation, Marshall may return to Macon, where he once served as Mayor and don't be surprised to hear his name come up as a possible candidate for a statewide office in 2014

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Third Democrat To Enter Race for Georgia State School Superintendent

Rita Robinzane
Twenty-Four year veteran public school teacher Rita Robinzane (D-Lithonia) has decided to do more in her role as an educator and become a candidate for state school superintendent.

Robinzane says “I believe that I have the experience to fulfill the responsibilities required for this position.  I am an educator, not a politician.  As a teacher, I have firsthand experience with the state’s teacher evaluation system, testing and Race to the Top funding.  I know the day-to-day operations of what goes on in a classroom and the challenges that teachers have to overcome in order to meet requirements set by the state.   

Once elected, I plan to improve education for all children, support teachers with helping students succeed, and work to get the funding needed for better resources.   Once the graduation rate increases, more businesses will relocate to Georgia.  The quality of life in Georgia will improve once education for all students in the state gets better.”

Rita Robinzine is a member of the State Committee of the Democratic Party, the Junior League of Atlanta and the DeKalb Democratic Party. She joins State Rep Alisha Thomas Morgan (D-Austell) and Doeford Shirley (D-Marietta) who also announced their intentions in seeking the State School Superintendent Post

How Rural Georgians View Their Republican-Led State Government

How can it be that in rural areas of Georgia, where many communities are dying and lots of individuals are struggling to make ends meet, there is a strong preference for limited government and thus considerable
Cochran, Ga 
support for right wing politicians and the Republican Party? In rural areas as in cities, many poor individuals vote for Democrats.

In my stop through Henderson, Ga yesterday at a local small business, Hank Murrow, a 60 yr old retired truck driver and self described conservative democrat during our short conversation explained: "Rural places often get extra government help and pay lower taxes per person, compared to suburban and rural areas". Well he's right, some folks suggest that rural Georgians just do not understand their own economic interests. Rural Georgians are distracted by cultural appeals. Guns, abortion, and religion are pegged as hot-button diversions that allow right wing politicians to gain office with appeals against government.

But let me present a different answer..... Many Georgians living in places outside of the cities and nearby suburbs think of themselves first and foremost as “rural people,” as members of communities  that get short shrift from government and politicians. For Georgians with what I call rural consciousness, government is not understood policy by policy. It is viewed more in its entirety, as an outside force that largely ignores rural places and is unlikely ever to understand the true needs of rural people or give them their fair share of public resources.

As I listened to ongoing conversations over the past two weekends in Lee, Bleckley, Houston Counties, I found that many rural residents perceive their communities as the victims of government decisions that routinely ignore or misunderstand rural needs and use rural resources to disproportionately help more privileged urbanites. Georgia has several large metropolitan areas: Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah, Columbus, Albany just to name a few. To people like Leo Nalls, a 72 yr old retiree from Leesburg and a republican put it, "In the areas of Georgia away from those metropolitan centers, many people around here perceive that Atlanta draws in all of the state’s resources and spends most of those resources on itself or not only on urban centers, but upscale suburban areas of the state like Johns Creek, Dunwoody, Canton, Cumming, for example".

Urban and suburban decision-makers, as non-metropolitan Georgians see them, have little understanding of rural lifestyles and values. Inadequate appreciation of the continuous hard work and  neighborliness that go on in most rural communities, where people have long struggled with difficult economic circumstances. Rural Georgians in these counties say republican lawmakers from the Metro Atlanta area and Northern Georgia hold all of the decisions.

The link between the Republican Party here in Georgia and rural areas is not simply about economic interests. Much of the explanation lies in the social perspectives rural folks use to interpret  politics. For many people in rural communities, as government policies championed by Democrats are the work of urbanites understood as culturally distinct from and dismissive of  rural people like themselves.

Another interesting exchange I had over the weekend was with a woman in Bleckley County who didn't want her name to be mentioned, but she teaches school in the Bleckley County School System who said she voted for Nathan Deal in 2010, but now is looking at Democratic Candidate Jason Carter. She said, None of the politicians ever come to see us until it's time for them to seek re-election. She then goes on to say "I'm happy that Gov. Deal is putting over $500 million dollars toward education, it's a good start, but money alone isn't going to solve the current crisis many schools south of Macon are facing and that alone won't be enough to satisfy teachers who have grown disgruntled by the continued cuts to education by the Republicans over the last decade". "And with the new changes to teachers healthcare plan, Deal, she says have dug himself into a hole". I then asked her if she thought it was because of the ACA, or "Obamacare" that those changes were taking place? She replied: "NO, that's just a easy way for Gov. Deal and the Republicans to deflect attention away from their mistake and put it on the ACA, which is unpopular at the moment".


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Let's Communicate in District 148, says Randy Head

That's the slogan for political newcomer Randy Head as he prepares to take on Buddy Harden for HD 148.

Over in Pulaski County, Emmett "Randy" Head (R-Hawkinsville) is preparing for his first run for public office, which is State Representative against Buddy Harden (R-Cordele) for HD 148, which consist of Crisp, Wilcox, Pulaski and rural Houston County (Clinchfield, Henderson, Elko, Kathleen, Grovania, Haynesville)

The 54 yr old Head was born and raised in Hawkinsville who owns a small business in Perry called Grillmaster, which is near I-75. He's married to Wanda Head who is a educator.

I am a small businessowner with experience in Agriculture and Pecan Production, says Head. As a person who has grown up in this area, it always been  dream of mine to work and serve the citizens who makeup this area of Georgia, the Heart of Georgia.

Head emphasizes progress for the district with economic development, agriculture, small business and communication in HD 148. We have an abundance of resources available in this area and we need to protect and expand upon these resources says Head.

Some of the issues facing HD 148 & the State Head wants to address include:

-Rural Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities
-Robins AirForce Base (BRAC)
-Create a atmosphere that will lead to the creation of more small businesses that is the engine that drives the economy and communities
-Equipping Law Enforcement with the necessary tools to keep homes and streets safe
-Sustaining and promoting Georgia Agriculture as well as fighting for Family Farms

Head then goes on to say, we need to maximize the potential of all of our resources in order to grow our economy and create jobs. To ensure our success, we need to be open-mined and lines of communication must be open in order to move this district and this forward to better ensure a bright future for our children and grandchildren. His website is http://www.randyhead.org

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Amy Tavio for Congress Announces Five Stops on Campaign Kickoff Tour

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 21, 2014

Amy Tavio for Congress Announces Five Stops on Campaign Kickoff Tour

RICHMOND HILL, GA, January 21, 2014 – Amy Tavio, Democratic candidate for Georgia’s First Congressional District, today announced five stops on her Campaign Kickoff Tour January 23 The events are as followed:

Richmond Hill - J.F. Gregory Park - 8:30 A.M.

Savannah - International Trade Center Riverwalk - 11:30 A.M.

Hinesville - Bradwell Park - 2:30 A.M.

Brunswick - Glynn County Public Library, Downtown Location - 5:00 P.M.

Waycross - Cavagnaro’s Restaurant (Coffee and tea provided.)  - 7:30 A..M.

Amy will be available to answer questions from the press and the general public.She looks forward to interacting with the electorate to promote common sense solutions in Washington.

We request that all further inquiries be directed to Campaign Manager Charles Feagain. Charles can be reached by phone at 912-429-0494 or by email at cafeagain@gmail.com.

Friday, January 17, 2014

GA-CD 1: Amy Tavio to Run for Congress

Amy Tavio
Real Estate Broker Amy Tavio (D-Richmond Hill), a centrist democrat has announced her candidacy for the 1st Congressional Seat currently held by Jack Kingston (R-Savannah) who is running for the Senate.

Tavio, a Real Estate Broker from Richmond Hill is a At-Large State Committee member for the Georgia Democratic Party and member o the Bryan County Democratic Party. She is a Real Estate Associate Broker for Keller Williams Realty and before that worked in Real Estate in Boynton Beach & Lake Worth Florida. She attended Georgia Southern University, majoring in political science and sociology and attended Florida State College in Jacksonville.

Here's a few tidits about Tavio:

After working her way through college, Amy began her career in the housing industry. In 2007, after five hurricanes, Amy relocated her family and her real estate business to Coastal Georgia for a quieter life in a community steeped in family tradition and values. She chose to make Richmond Hill her home, for its quality public schools, affordable senior care for her grandmother with Alzheimer’s Disease, and safe independent living options for her mother who had suffered two strokes in 2000

She has advocated for children in state foster care as the Bryan County Coordinator for Atlantic Area CASA, served on the local American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life Committee, volunteered with Bryan County Family Connection and the Children’s’ Fund, and diligently worked to create the Bryan County Democratic Party, re-chartered in February 2013. Tavio has earned local respect for her community advocacy. She tirelessly worked behind the scenes in local politics to install new public servants committed to a Richmond Hill where families could live, work, and play. She has proven her ability to work collaboratively with community leaders of differing ideologies to better Bryan County

She is the second Democrat to announce for the 1st Congressional District. 2012 candidate Lesli Messinger (D-Savannah) announced she will run again as well.


Jason Carter Georgia State of the State Response - 2014

Sunday, January 12, 2014



The Above Picture was sent to Peanut Politics yesterday by a Uvalda, Ga resident  (Montgomery County)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Mayor Ken Smith of Kingsland, Ga

U.S. Navy Veteran & current Mayor Kenneth E. Smith, Sr. is a native of Kingsland, Georgia.  Mayor Smith served sixteen years as Councilman for the City of Kingsland. He has continued to win the support of the community over the years as he was elected as Mayor in January of 2002.  

In 2008, Mayor Smith served as President of the Georgia Municipal Association.  Currently he serves on the Georgia Municipal Association Board of Directors, the Legislative Committee, the Budget Committee, member of the Georgia Municipal Employee Benefit System and Worker’s Compensation Self-Insurance Fund Board of Trustees.

Mayor Smith also served on Georgia Municipal Association’s Revenue and Finance Committee, District 12 President, Dues and Revenue Study Subcommittee, Municipal Operations Committee, and the Resolutions Committee.Mayor Smith has earned four certificates of achievement and excellence after completing hours of municipal training at the Harold F. Holt Municipal Training Institute for elected officials.

He presently serves as chairman of the PSA (Public Service Authority), of Camden County, a member of the Elks Lodge of Camden County, and serves as an executive board member of the Coastal Regional Transportation Roundtable. 
In the past, he served as board member for CMAP (Coastal Medical Access Project), member of the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity and served as vice chairman of the Public Service Authority of Camden County.

Mayor Smith has been a strong advocate for smart growth, sustainability and energy efficiency since he has taken office.  He was a recent speaker at the national US EPA New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina and at the Brownfields 2011 Conference in Philadelphia, PA.

The Mayor oversaw the recent installation of a state-of-the-art $13 million dollar wastewater treatment facility.  This facility doubled our wastewater capacity yet is very cost efficient.  It is beautifully landscaped and returns clean water back to the St Mary's River.

Mayor Smith is a lifelong member of the First African Missionary Baptist Church in Kingsland actively serves as a board officer for the church.  He also serves as Vice President for the Zion Sunday School and Baptist Training Union Congress.

He graduated from Ralph Johnson Bunche in 1965.  He then went on to serve in the U.S. Navy where he served three tours in Vietnam.  He married with three children.

Friday, January 3, 2014

End the "Are You A Real Democrat" Purity Test

Some may not agree with me, but there is a PURITY test that is going on within the Democratic Party here in Georgia. Given the rash of party switching democrats in the legislature, now there's this Purity test as I call it to determine whether or not you're DEMOCRAT enough and how much do you love President Obama and the National Democratic Agenda.

Being a Moderate or Conservative Democrat is now is met with suspicion among those who determine who should earn the support of Democratic groups like the House and Senate Caucuses for example.

For some within the party, the though of being in a party with moderates and conservative democrats with different points of views on issues ranging from social to economic is unacceptable or unimaginable.

Why the disdain for another democrat with opposite views from that of a liberal is beyond me. The condescending attitude from some democratic activists, loyalists, insiders toward right-leaning democrats who hail from small towns or who was reared in a small town but moved to a much larger area small town is one reason why it's been difficult for the party to find and recruit strong able-bodied candidates for legislative seats in swing or conservative-leaning districts.

House Minority leader Stacey Abrams or State Senator Vincent Fort can be who they want to be because they represents VERY, VERY BLUE DISTRICTS in Metro Atlanta. On the other hand, the most hope you can hope for from Central and South Georgia is going to be a Quentin Howell-John Tibbetts style democrats, who are conservative leaning democrats whose backgrounds fits the makeup of the areas they tried to represent (Howell, HD 145, Tibbetts, then HD 153). Liberal Democrats may not like that, but the fact of the matter is, Stacey Abrams or Vincent Fort literally CANNOT win in Tifton, Milledgeville or Hazelhurst with the same rhetoric they use to win urban Atlanta voters. That's just a fact!

If you want to change the circumstances in those neck of the woods, then go for it, but I'm here to tell you, it's a complete waste of time. It'll take a lot of time and effort, and a LOT of persuasion of the populance. Not needing and cajoling those who doesn't see things your way! That means talking to people, not talking at them.

But the fact is the purity....well let me put it in another way...the underground purity game that is being used by democrats is a deadly game that will get them no where. All democrats are not party line foot soldiers, some are independent-minded, some are moderate, some are conservative, some are pro-business, pro-gun, pro-life, anti-regulation, tax cutters.

One problem with many of today's Georgia Democratic Liberals is that they don't understand the politics of the "Other" Georgia. Calling Bluedog Democrats Republican-Lite takes a monumental level of ignorance. Today's Democratic Party here in Georgia bear no resemblance of the Democratic Party of, say 2000.

The criticism from liberals towards moderate and conservative democrats that they aren't democrat enough is getting old and fast because they're willing to compromise a bit on issues in order to make progress. Whining and complaining about everything moderate and conservative democrats stand for is not going to help the party in the long run. Bluedog Democrats are not the problem, and getting rid of them only exacerbate the problems the party is facing.

The bottom line is stop with these purity test because a democrat who describes him or herself a moderate or conservative democrat maybe suspect. The problem is the current GOP rigid, anti-working class, anti-rural, anti-middle, low income voter agenda that has done nothing to improve the lives of the Trucker down in Atkinson County, or the Diesel Mechanic over in Terrell County, or the farmer up in Taliaferro County, or the 9th grade teacher up in Polk County.




GA Legislature: Ten 2014 Races/Seats To Watch

(1)  HD 156 Greg Morris (R-Vidalia) vs Lee Burton (R-Vidalia)

Incumbent Greg Morris faces a serious challenge in the form of Lee Burton for HD 156. Morris first elected in 1998 as a Democrat switched parties to the GOP in 2005. Morris pre-filed legislation HB 702 to erect a Ten Commandments monument in place of the Thomas Watson statue that was removed last yr. Now although it seem like a good gesture on Morris, it all seems political with the sudden challenge of Conservative Lee Burton.

Burton, a former U.S. Navy Seal, Vice Chair of the Toombs Co Republican Party and member of the Georgia Tea Party already has the endorsement of influential GOP Grassroots activists Pat Tippett & Kay Godwin. Burton, a 1988 graduate of Vidalia High School is making his first run for office.

Morris who is vice chair of the Banking Committee advantage as a incumbent may help him in the upcoming Republican Primary, but Lee Burton is no slouch, plus having the support of Georgia Conservatives in Action will only help him in his bid to upend Morris who was a former Toombs Co Commissioner. No Democrat have yet announced for this seat.

(2) SD 22 Hardie Davis (D-Augusta)

Incumbent moderate State Senator Hardie Davis of Augusta is running for Mayor of Augusta in 2014, replacing the term-limited Deke Coperhaver. Expect multiple candidates to vie for the open Senate Seat that takes up much of Richmond County. Former State Senator J.B. Powell, Vietnam Veteran & 2002 Congressional candidate Chuck Pardue are possibilities for this seat.

(3) SD 18 Incumbent Cecil Staton (R-Macon), Spencer Price (R-Thomaston) & John Kennedy (R-Macon)

In 2012 Cecil Staton barely defeated Physician Spencer Price of Thomaston to return to the State Legislature in 2012. This time there will be a rematch, plus one with the entry of Macon Lawyer John F. Kennedy. Both Price and Kenendy are running to the right of Staton and it's likely that this race will go into a runoff. Staton is currently Majority Whip of the Senate. No Democrats have announced for this seat that includes Upson, Crawford, Peach, Monroe and portions of Bibb County.

(4) HD 12. Eddie Lumsden (R-Rome)

Lumsden defeated longtime Democratic Moderate & Educator Barbara Massey-Reece by 3% in 2012. With such a close margin of victory, expect democrats to make a run at this seat in 2014. The district includes Chatooga and Northern Floyd County.

(5) HD 105 Joyce Chandler (R-Grayson)

Chandler narrowly defeated Businessowner Renita Hamiton (D-Lawrenceville) a Conservative Democrat 51% to 48 in 2012.  HD 105 seat is your classic swing legislative seat. This seat will be atop of the Democrats list of seats they hope to pickup in 2014.

(6) HD 139 Patty Bentley D-Reynolds)

Bentley defeated Reynolds Foodliner VP Thomas Coogle, a Conservative Democrat in the Democratic Runoff 50% to 49%. The race also included Michael Dinkins who served as County Commissioner of Peach County. This seat includes Dooly, Macon, Taylor and Southern Peach County. Look for numerous candidates to jump into the race given the relative razor thin margin of victory by the Incumbent.

(7) HD 145 Rusty Kidd (I-Lake Sinclair)

Independent Rusty Kidd defeated Pharmaceutical Businessowner, U.S Navy Veteran and Radio Show Host Quentin Howell (D-Milledgeville), a Conservative Democrat the past two election cycles. This seat includes Baldwin and South Central Putnam County which includes Eatonton. Expect a republican to jump into this race and Howell may make a third run for the seat.

(8) HD 138 Michael Cheokas (R-Americus)

Cheokas who was another party switcher in 2010 narrowly defeated Marion County Commissioner Kevin Brown, a Moderate Democrat 50% to 49%. The newly drawn district includes Chattahoochee, Marion, Schley, and majority of Sumter County. Given the narrow margin of victory for Cheokas, expect Brown to make another attempt to unseat Cheokas.

(9) HD 148 Buddy Harden (R-Cordele) vs Randy Head (R-Hawkinsville)

Incumbent Buddy Harden will face a primary challenge from  Businessowner Randy Head who owns Grillmaster over in Perry. Head has a impressive background that will appeal to various interest of the district. Harden replaced longtime State Rep. Johnny Floyd who resigned after serving 17 yrs as State Rep. The district includes a bog portion of rural Houston Co, Pulaski, Wilcox and Crisp County

(10) SD 23 Jesse Stone (R-Waynesboro)

After Conservative Democrat J.B. Powell left this seat to run for Agriculture Commissioner, Stone who was mayor of Waynesboro, step forward and qualified for the seat...the sad part is the Democrats failed to recruit a challenger to put uo against Stone. Vietnam Veteran and Attorney Chuck Pardue mounted a successful drive to get on the ballot as a independent, but soon afterwards dropped out of the race due to a family related matter. ( His son was seriously wounded in Afghanistan and experienced serious trauma because of it). SD 23 includes Burke, Screven, Johnson, Jenkins, northern Emanuel County, Jefferson, Glascock, Warren, McDuffie, extreme southern portion of Columbia, tiny portion of northern and Richmond County. Expect Senate Democrats to do a much better job of recruiting a candidate to take on Stone.


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