Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Poythress, Porter, Baker, Camon, Barnes? Who's it going to be for the Dems?

As we approach the 2010 season, its time to get serious about next year's elections.
Democrats have strong democratic candidates for governor, Thurbert Baker, DuBose Porter, David Poythress, Carl Camon & Roy Barnes. Given the troubles of the Georgia GOP during the past 2-3 weeks & now questions surrounding the republican candidates for governor, 2010 maybe the year democrats finally break through in this state.
But it depends on how democrats play their cards. First we have a upcoming legislative session that might go down as one of the most brutal sessions ever seen in this state. Deep cuts are expected in the budget & make up a rapidly decreasing tax revenue the state is left faced with, the growing anger over the transportation issue in Metro Atlanta, a water crisis that threatens the future of our state & a deteriorating educational system that shows no signs of getting better at the moment. If all or most of these issues go unsolved before the 2010 elections, democrats might be singing "Happy days are here again" & may potentially ride a mimi-wave back into the governor's office & other statewide offices as well as local races as well.
Then we have our elections. Any od these candidates (democratic) would be very formidable against any of the republican challengers, but its important that primary voters get this one right.
David Poythress have been campaigning for over a year now. He was the first candidate to announce his intentions to seek the governor's post back in November 2008. He has traveled to every corner of the state from Dalton to Bainbridge to Macon to Fitzgerald & small towns in between. He has built up a strong following all over the state getting campaign contributions from all 159 counties in the state. He's is polling in the single digits, but expect that to change once he goes on the air with radio & TV ads touting his candidacy.

DuBose Porter has traveled all over this entire state as well. He is the minority leader of the house, having served in the state legislature since 1981. There is no one more qualified to become the next governor of this state that DuBose Porter, having served as a floor leader to then Gov. Zell Miller & Speaker Pro-Tem as well. Hailing from Middle Georgia (Laurens County), porter is the only candidate that hails from rural Georgia, which may prove important once the primary rolls around. Porter has taken his message to Baxley, Americus, Dry Branch, Rabun Gap & Valdosta as he travels this state. He is also polling in the single digits, but once he goes up with TV ADS, etc, expect his numbers to change as well.
Despite these men polling in single digits, they are 1,2 in the Peanut Politics polls.
Thurbert Baker has been quietly campaigning on the trail since announcing his candidacy for govenror, which caught alot of people by surprise, including mine. I always thought Baker would run for the U.S. Senate, but he gunning for governor. Appointed by Zell Miller to Attorney General in 1998 Baker is now looking to become the first African-American governor in the deep south since Douglas Wilder up in VA in 1990. Baker was in the headlines over the Genarlow Wilson case that angered many in the Black Community. There are alot of black voters who say they will not vote for Baker because of that case. Its hard for me to see that one incident keeping Baker from winning the nomination or becoming governor. He maybe the most conservative out of all the democratic candidates. A pro-gun, pro-life, pro-business democrat Baker enjoys significant cros-over appeal from white moderates as well. But some folks think his close association with Zell Miller might keep him from the nomination. We'll have to see about that. And there are still rumblings out there that he still may go to Lt. Governor if there is no improvement in his poll numbers. Again we will have to wait and see about that. Polls show Baker polling as low as 8% to high as 30%. I have no idea which is accurate. But keep an eye on Baker.
Carl Camon is trying to make the jump from mayor of Ray City to the big time of the governor's mansion. Camon has been hitting the road also traveling to Homerville, Colquitt, Washington, Rome, Athens, Macon as he tries to become the next governor of Georgia & the first African-American to win since (again Douglas Wilder up in Virginia in '90). Camon is running as a outsider taking his populist message to cities across Georgia & to party forums as well. He is a 40 yr old, former USAF Veteran who is a graduate of Valdosta State. A family values, pro-gun democrat, camon has been well received at democratic gatherings across the state. There are some democrats who think he ought to run for Lt. Governor, where they think he has a much better chance of winning. I'll leave that to Carl. I'm not going to touch that. Camon is also polling in the single digits as well. He has the least amount of money of the other contenders, so that's why I think the talk about him going to Lt. Govenror is picking up some steam among party activist. Stay tuned on that front.
Roy Barnes is trying to become governor for a second time, (only Gene Talmadge accomplished that feat). Barnes lost in 2002 to a back bench State Senator Sonny Perdue over his treatment of Ga Teachers, the changing of the confederate emblem & his perceived arrogance in that race, (only campaigned in rural georgia only once according to some accounts) that year. But what contributed to his defeat, I think was the 9/11 attacks. You put that along with the flag change & the revolt of the teachers, it was a perfect storm for defeat for him & democrats that year. Now Barnes is trying to make a comeback in a state that have been hampered by the lack of progress on issues from water, education, transportation, etc. He is the establishment's pick going into the 2010 elections, the one guy they see can bring the democratic party back to prominence in this state. He is leading in the polls right now & from people I've talked to, when the campaign dislcosures come out on Dec. 31, Barnes will be miles ahead of the other democratic challengers. Barnes have kept his head down, traveling across south georgia during the past couple of months building up support for another run at the governor's mansion. I think democrats would be better off with one of the other candidates as their candidate, but that just me talking. He is a force to be rckoned with in the party no doubt, but can do the impossible. Only time will tell.

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