Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Rural Georgia 2012 Legislative Races to Watch

HD 151:
Gerald Greene (R-Cuthbert)
Bob Hanner (R-Parrott)

The two longtime rural Democrats switched parties after the 2010 election & their districts was paired together, forcing both men to run against each other. One may possibly retire, but that remains to be seen. The district is a lean democratic district

HD 138

Mike Cheokas (R-Americus)

Cheokas, former chair of the Sumter County Democratic Party also switched after the 2010 elections. The district now includes democratic leaning Chattahoochee County & it loses the more conservative southern portion of Sumter County. The district is a tossup/tilt democratic district

HD 144

James "Bubber" Epps (R-Dry Branch)

Epps was bombarded with questions during his last re-election about the possibility of switching parties but he vigorously denied he was planning to switch parties. After getting re-elected he immediately switched parties, angering local democrats. The district now includes Bleckley County & Northwest Laurens County. The district is a tossup

HD 150

Matt Hatchett (R-Dublin)

Hatchett took over as Rep of Laurens County after DuBose Porter left to run for governor in 2010. Hatchett defeated Physician Pablo Santamaria in the genera,l who I thought was the weaker candidate in the democratic primary which he defeated Mitch Warnock in the runoff. The district is tilt republican district, but depending on the democratic candidate can be won again by dems

HD 145

E. Culver "Rusty" Kidd (I-Baldwin County)

Rusty Kidd faces re-election to a district that includes more of southern Putnam County. Questions arose about his residency last year in which he lived outside of his district, but that has been fixed as the new district now includes more of Putnam County. Baldwin Co has suffered mass job loss over the past decade & this year maybe the year that this seat flips to the democratic column. The district is a tossup

HD 177

Open Seat (Democratic Leaning)

This seat was drawn as a majority-minority district. It includes the city of Valdosta. Expect many candidates to jump at the chance of representing this open house seat

HD 175

Amy Carter (R-Valdosta)

Carter, a moderate also switched parties & now serves as Nathan Deal's Floor Leader. She now has new territory that now includes democratic Brooks County, Republican Thomas County & a sliver of Lowndes County. Her position maybe help her in her bid to win re-election in this new district, but expect a democratic challenge to her in november. The district is a tossup

HD 149

Jimmy Pruett (R-Eastman)

Pruett loses Wilcox, Pulaski & Bleckley Counties & Pickup Telfair & Wheeler Counties, as well as Southern Laurens County. Pruett who was Sonny Perdue's floor leader is basically running in a new district. The district is lean republican. I'd be surprised if he doesn't receive a challenge to the newly redrawn district

HD 171

Jay Powell (R-Camilla)

Powell came to the legislature in 2006 after the retirement of longtime Democrat Richard Royal. Powell was personally escorted by then speaker Glen Richardson to qualify as a republican on the last day of qualifying. 171 now takes in North/North Central Decatur County. Mitchell County sizable AA population makes this a race that democrats win definitely target in november.

HD 180

Mark Hatfield (R-Waycross)
Jason Spencer (R-Woodbine)

This race will be one of the most interesting to watch. Hatfield who has been at the center of controversy sponsored a bill that would have required President Obama to provide certified proof of his birth to the Georgia secretary of state in order to appear on this year’s presidential primary and general election ballots. Spencer is the newly elected Rep out of Camden County who has been paired against Hatfield in the GOP primary this summer. Its possibly that Hatfield just may hold on to his seat against freshman Jason Spencer. I can't call this race, but its a safe republican seat.

HD 133

Kip Smith (R-Pine Mountain)

Smith was pulled over for DUI back in January which has lead to a primary challenge from John Pezold. Smith took over the seat from his father Vance Smith who was appointed as the GDOT Commissioner (he is no longer the commissioner) Smith, 30 hails from a safe republican district & I believe that like Ben Harbin, he will weather the storm & win re-election.

HD 158

Butch Parrish (R-Swainsboro)

Former Democrat Butch Parrish has been in that seat since the mid 1980s & show no signs of slowing down. He hasn't had a real challenge to that seat in years, if not decades. Its highly....highly unlikely that he will ever lose his seat, but you never know. These are turbulent times in politics folks, so..............

HD 169

Chuck Sims (R-Ambrose)
Tommy Smith (R-Nicholls)

The two former democrats will battle it out in the GOP Primary for the right to represent this seat. Both men are very likable & well respected. No liberal/progressive democrat will win this seat....Oh, No! There are plenty of good solid BlueDogs down in that area & if the "RIGHT" Democrat comes forward, I can see this seat being high competitive.

HD 139

Lynmore James (D-Montezuma)

This seat now includes all of Dooly County, along with Macon, Taylor & southern Peach County

Incumbent Lynmore James (D-Montezuma) who is a friend of mine will step down after 20 years due to health issues. This seat is a solid democratic district. You have Businessman & Conservative Democrat Thomas Coogle, Jr, Peach Co Commissioner Michael Dinkins & Taylor Co Commissioner Patty Bentley. This will be a highly competitive race with a runoff likely between two of the three candidates. The district includes Macon County, which is the 3rd poorest county in the state.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think Epps will be defeated. He seems like a nice guy, but the way he lied over & over again about not planning to switch, he lost the respect of a lot of people here in Twiggs Co from those who are not his friends. I think his challenger (DEM) will come from Cochran

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