The race for the Georgia governorship is not only attracting national attention but national dollars, according to a report from Ashley Friedling of the Gainesville Times.
Friedling says part of the interest can be traced to the influence the new governor may have when congressional lines a redrawn in the months ahead. Here’s part of her report:
Both the Republican Governors Association and the Democratic Governors Association say they already are involved in the partisan duel between former Gov. Roy Barnes, a Democrat, and former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, a Republican.
Nationally, the groups have reported raising record amounts of money this year to make sure their parties snag the top job in states across the country.
Even the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee — groups that normally stick with federal offices — are getting involved in gubernatorial races.
Observers chalk up the national interest to an acute concern over the hand that will guide the drawing of congressional districts.
Governors elected this year will have at least some influence in how congressional lines are drawn in next year’s post-census redistricting process, said Denise Roth Barber, research director for the National Institute on Money in State Politics.
In 2011, Georgia stands to gain another congressional district, which would be its 14th. Whether that seat will go to a Democratic or Republican area of the state is at stake.
“The control of congress is at stake,” Barber said. “The redistricting is what’s going to then determine the control of Congress, so those who play at the federal level are now focused very much on the state races because of that.”