Friday, January 3, 2014

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.


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post. I'm seriously considering running for State Representative here in Southeast Georgia as a conservative democrat myself. I'm a member of the local chamber of commerce, own a business and served in the military, but let me say this, those Candidates who only got 50% ( Chandler, Cheokas and Bentley) will have their hands full. That's a sign of their extreme weakness weak standing amongst the voters in their districts

Anonymous said...

One question that should always be asked is if your constituents are better off than they were when they sent you to office? In the case of House District 139, we can certainly see a mistake was made! I hope to see a good clean race that knocks Mrs. Whiters, Carson, James, Bentley out off office.

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