Monday, November 2, 2009

Georgia Democratic Party, 2010 Statewide Elections

Back in 2007, I almost left the democratic party to become an independent because I thought democrats were too weak & afraid to put a fight to the republicans who took charge of the General Assembly. After the 2002 elections, I saw a lot of rural democrats either retire or switch parties after Sonny Perdue won in 2002. You would think after having been in power for over 130+ Yrs the democratic party would have been in better shape to regroup & mount a comeback, but I was wrong. There were hardly any county democratic party chapters here in rural georgia. (Here in Macon Co. we have a chapter, but it's not active.) But there are still some rural counties that do not have party chapters at all (Candler, Chattahoochee, Crawford, Stewart, Miller, Echols, Clay, Dooly, Montgomery Co. & others) for example. You would think after decades of being in power that the party would have developed a deep bench of democratic prospects to compete for statewide, or local races. I didn't realize how bad in shape the party was. Then you had those party switchers who only switched just to keep what they had. Issues like the confederate flag, teachers & you combined the 9/11 attacks on the world trade center it was the perfect storm for every single democrat to have their asses handed to them. I wonder had Barnes not changed the flag, would he have still won re-election? Who knows. Would have Max Cleland won his re-election as well against Saxby Chambliss? Who Knows.
After the 2002 elections, democrats completely lost Rural Georgia, which was a bastion of Conervative Democrats that left the party & started voting republican. Like here in my home county, I know plenty of males who are still registered democrats (conservative), but they started to vote republican after the 2002 elections. I asked a couple of them why did they leave the democratic party? They told me they are still registered democrats, but only vote republican because they haven't had a chance to vote for a democrat who reflect their values, which is fiscally conservative, strong family values, a believer in the second amandment, god & faith, & a strong supporter for the "other Georgia" ( meaning rural georgia).
But these men may come back home in 2010. But it will depend who the liberal democrats, especially in the metro atlanta area, who will ultimately determined the nominee as well as african-americans, who make up about 45% of the voters in the democratic primary. There are no liberal democrats in this race, although most think Roy Barnes maybe the closest thing to a liberal (or progressive), whatever you want to call it. David Poythress, DuBose Porter, Carl Camon are what I call center-right democrats. Thurbert Baker, in my mind is the only truly conervative democrat in the field judging by his stance toward crime, especially the bill he helped passed along with then Gov. Zell Miller, the "two strikes you out law". I not that familiar with Baker, who has maintained a strong relationship with Zell Miller since Miller left politics back in 2004. I had a lady ask me back in August, what if Zell Miller endorses Thurbert Baker for governor? I told this lady that Baker would probably become the frontrunner to win the democratic nomination regardless who's in the race. An endorsement by Miller for Baker would play well among white male voters, especially here in rural Georgia & with Black Voters playing a major role in deciding who the nominee would be, he would be the favorite. Baker has ran a very-low key campaigm thus far & has raised tons of money thus far, but a large number of voters are not sure who he is. But if Miller were to endorse a candidate for governor, you would think it would be either Baker, Porter, or Poythress given the relationship between the men in the past.
Another to watch out for is Sam Nunn. Nunn, early last week, endorsed Ken Hodges for State Attoeney General. Depending how the situation involving him & Phoebe Putney Hospital, if he comes out of that unscathed, he possibly will become the democratic nominee in the 2010 General Election. You have to think Sam Nunn had to know about that Phoebe Situation before he threw his support behind Hodges. But what impact will Nunn have on the governor's race? My thinking is, if he got involved in the primary, he would throw his support behind DuBose Porter for governor, since they live 60-70 miles apart & Porter once worked for Nunn when Nunn was still a senator. Or he could get behind David Poythress someone he has known for Years.
And there is Michael Thurmond. He was thought to be gunning for Lt. Governor on a ticket with Roy Barnes. But I always thought Thurmond had his eyes on the governor's seat & not a seat for Lt. Governor. But once Thurbert Baker announced his candidacy, that dream was over. Had Thurmond gotten in, Roy Barnes probably would have stayed on the side lines, in my opinion. I suspect Thurmond will remain neutral in this race unless it goes to a runoff.
Democrats still don't have a candidate for Lt. Governor, which is ridiculous. The thinking among dems that the Senate would be controlled by the republicans & that if a democrat is elected to Lt. Governor, they would do the same thing to him or her like they did to Marl Taylor & that is to strip away all the powers & responsibiliies of the Lt. Governor. I don't think that would happen. Mark Taylor had burned alot of bridges in his time at that position, mostly with GOP members in that chamber. So once they got control of that chamber, you knew that was going to happen.
There are 3 to 4 people I think should take a stab at that seat held by current Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. I would like to see a woman run for that seat, like for instance State Rep. Debbie Buckner (D-Junction City) or Amy Carter (D-Valdosta). Former State Senators like Michael Meyer von Bremen (D-Albany), or Floyd Griffin, Jr (D-Milledgeville). Maybe Tim Golden (D-Valdosta), who would possibly be the strongest challenger to Cagle, or one of the current candidates for governor, which is highly unlikely, although there are some people who think maybe Carl Camon, who is the current mayor of Ray City should drop down to run for Lt Governor. At a recent event I attended over in Houston County, some of the people there thought he would make a fine governor, but with the log jam at governor, he would be a better fit at Lt. Governor. Maybe, but someone needs to get the ball movin' at that particular race.
Hopefully 2010 will be the year democrats finally break through & find strong candidates for State Senate & State House seats. If they don't someone will be held responsible & that person will be Jane Kidd, the current Chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Georgia.
Well I'm off to Atlanta & plan to be back tomorrow evening.

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