Thursday, January 14, 2010

Is It Possible that Georgia Could Have a African-American Running in the General Election for Governor, Lt. Governor & U.S. Senate? Its Very Possible

I'm surprised that no one have even brought this up, but what if, after the primaries are done with, that we Georgia could end up with three African-American candidates running for the top three offices in government: U.S. Senate, Governor, Lt. Governor?
It very well could happen as RJ Hadley is contending for the senate seat held by Incumbent Johnny Issakon, Thurbert Baker is running for the open seat of governor & possibly Michael Thurmond at Lt. Governor.
RJ Hadley (D-Conyers)
State Attorney General Thurbert Baker (D-Stone Mountain)
Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond (D-Athens)
Georgia have had only one African-American to run for Senate (Denise Majette in 2004), one for Governor (Andrew Young in 1990) & three for Lt. Governor (Ex-State Senator Floyd L. Griffin in 1998, Steen Miles & Griffin Lotson in 2006). What if that possibility happens for the democrats come July 2010?
Thubert Baker who was appointed by then Governor Zell Miller to State Attorney General in 1997 is a conservative democrat who has been endorsed the National Rifle Association (NRA) all three times he has ran for Attorney General, receiving a A+ rating from the organization each time. He was a floor leader to Zell Miller, he helped sponsered the "Hope Schlarship", & "the two strikes you're out law" that put the worst repeat, violent felons in prison for life without parole, in addition to focusing on initiatives to help fight crime & fraud, including stronger laws against sexual predators & advocated for the abolition of parole for persons convicted of violent crimes, etc. During his last election, he carried 122 out of 159 counties in the state, defeating his republican opponent, who was backed by then House Speaker Glen Richardson. Baker enjoys crossover appeal from moderates & conservative whites, republicans & democrats.
Michael Thurmond is the current Labor Commissioner, who succeeded David Poythress, who is running for governor as well. In 1986, he became the first African-American elected to the Georgia General Assembly from Clarke County since Reconstruction. During his time in the legislature, he was the only African-American legislator elected from a majority white district. While serving in the General Assembly, Thurmond authored major legislation that has provided more than two hundred million dollars in tax relief to the state’s senior citizens and working families.

Thurmond was called upon to direct Georgia’s historic transition from welfare to work. He created the innovative “Workfirst” program, which has helped over 90,000 welfare-dependent Georgia families move into the workforce, saving more than one hundred million tax dollars that have been reinvested in child care, training and other support services.
Under Thurmond’s leadership, the Labor Department has undergone a significant transformation in customer service and efficiency. Unemployment offices have been transformed into state-of-the-art career centers focused on getting jobless Georgians back to work as quickly as possible. The success of Thurmond’s approach is reflected in Georgia’s number one national ranking in helping the unemployed get back to work. Thurmond also enjoy great crossover appeal, like Baker & has great communication skills & can move a audience at a instance.

RJ Hadley is running as a outsider in his bid to unseat Juhnny Isakson for his Senate seat. Hadley was a Chief of Staff to the Rockdale Co. Commission & Democratic Activist before jumping into the race to take on Isakson. I had the pleasure of meeting Hadley at a democratic event over in Houston County & I can away very impressed by him. He's not your typical, run of the mill candidate who has the big bucks & he is a true outsider, not apart of the democratic establishment. His campaign speeches are terrific & this is a man who has gone to Tea Party Meetings & spoke to a crowd, you think would be hostile to a democrat, but not Mr. Hadley, just look at the vidoe below
Hadley helped change Rockdale from a republican leaning county to now a democratic leaning county, registering 10,000 new voters in a grassroots effort that helped elect their first democratic Commission chairman ever. If democrats can open up their arms & embrace RJ in his run for the Senate, I know it may seem impossible, but stranger things have happened.
All three candidates (or potential candidates) bring something different to the table. I don't know if Georgia is ready to elect three African-American statewide candidates in the same year for three high-profile offices, but I think we're close. You have Kendrick Meek running for the Senate in Florida & Artur Davis running for Governor of Alabama. If I was a betting man, I'd say Georgia will be the first state from the deep south to elect a African-American to either or all of those offices.

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