Any gamblers out there? In race for school chief, I say Joe Martin and John Barge win tonight.

Candidate John Barge

Republican candidate John Barge

I plan to be watching primary returns tonight and will be around blogging later, but here’s my prediction:

Joe Martin wins the Democratic nomination for state school chief and John Barge takes the Republican slot.

That’s the easy part. I make no predictions in the November race. Having heard Barge twice now at debates, I think his anti-feds theme will cost him more votes than it will gain him.

On the other hand, Martin has to fight that “inside the Beltway” veneer as well as the fact that he is in the party out of favor in the state.

Joe Martin, Democratic candidate

Democratic candidate Joe Martin

However, I think Martin could be helped by Roy Barnes on the Democratic ticket. We can discuss this later, but I feel that Karen Handel, the likely Republican nominee for governor at this point, will pay a price for lacking a college degree. I suspect many voters will think twice about voting for a governor who did not graduate college.

Also,  my colleague, Nancy Badertscher, is covering the race today for state school superintendent. She wants to include in the story she’s writing for Wednesday’s paper comments from people who have closely followed the race, who voted and who have definite opinions on what should be the priorities of the next state school superintendent.

If you’d be willing to be quoted, she can be reached via email at She’ll want your name, who you voted, what you do and where you voted.

See you later.

13 comments Add your comment


July 20th, 2010
7:18 pm

I think you may be right about the Super race tonight Maureen. I do not think Handel will win the runoff but I think it will be a clean sweep in November for the Republicans and they will hold every statewide office. I think the anti Obama vote will turn out very high and will not know who the candidates are other than maybe Governor but will just go to the polls and punch a straight Republican ticket to send a message to Obama about how unhappy they are. This years mid terms will be a national election.


July 20th, 2010
8:18 pm

8% reporting: Martin has 56% of the vote on the Dem side. Barge and Woods are in a virtual tie.


July 20th, 2010
9:06 pm

Joe Martin is unelectable. He wants to STEAL money from Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, and Cherokee to give it to the counties who do not think education is important enough to support with taxes. All of these counties should turn out 100% against him.

Carter is a Fool

July 20th, 2010
9:09 pm

I am unhappy with Obama and the National Dems, but I am FURIOUS over the slash and burn Republicans in our Legislature. Most are LIARS and UNTRUSTWORTHY. I will be voting a split ticket. National – Republican and Local – Democrat. Teachers do not need the disrespect fand lack of support from these Republiclowns.

Theodore, W, W/ Swain, Jr.s

July 20th, 2010
9:30 pm

I tnjinka dthat l y ouara tasdr iaghat adsoanhdatouidadg howerf hele heeedbeeda hoo hooo. I think thal tyouare righti toni;ghyt Marureen. tooooooooo mnay pepsirinhasas!!!!! But I htink atha lt JOhne bardge will be our ntest worhtless staea uperintenent. marue;ne,.,. good progensoticating.; yeeeehiowwwwwwwwww! tge sjt us =bkye, try agaub b===== te===yeeeghiwwwwww==ooooooooooooooo the sky is blue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yeehoooooooooooooo……the sky is blue………………i wnt slower tjhis itme. yes Roy is be the next govner……maaaaaaaaaaaareee the first lady gagqa. llady gaga agian.

Theodore, W, W/ Swain, Jr.s

July 20th, 2010
9:32 pm

that was Afrikaaner. entende?

Dr. John Trotter

July 20th, 2010
9:35 pm

Maureen: I think that you hit the ball right in the middle. Martin and Barge in November with Barge winning because of the GOP surge. I don’t know John Barge but he appears to be a decent guy. I know Joe Martin who is also a nice guy. He hails from Morningside of Atlanta, and I think that Barge hails from Norhtwest Georgia.


July 20th, 2010
9:39 pm

Dr. John Trotter, John lives in Floyd county now but he grew up and was educated in Smyrna.


July 20th, 2010
10:04 pm

Bad news Part 1, they called the Dem primary for Barnes….

Miss Scarlett

July 20th, 2010
11:14 pm

What do you think will happen if in the November election we get a new Democratic Governor – Barnes and a Republican School Superintendent – Barge? Will they work together to get us out of the mess that Sonny and Kathy are leaving behind? or will they be at odds because they are from different parties?

Rhoda Rush, Chemistry teacher 23 years

July 20th, 2010
11:18 pm

Dr. John Barge grew up in Smyrna and then went on to Berry College and earned higher degrees at University of West GA and UGA. He has 20 years in GA schools as a teacher, principal, curriculum director and time at the state board of ed. He has a vision for our state and solid plans to bring common sense back to education in GA. Math curriculum, testing, and budget are just a few of his big ideas. Check out his web site

Rhoda Rush, Chemistry teacher 23 years

July 20th, 2010
11:29 pm

I think John Barge will put the students of GA first and do what is best for them. He’s an educator not a politician. Kathy and Sonny were in the same party and they didn’t always agree. Whatever party you’re in you have to learn to work side by side for the common goal. I think strongly that John will do that because I’ve known him for 25 years and I’ve seen him work to make his classroom, school, county or state the best.

Pamela Stallworth

July 21st, 2010
7:32 am

John Barge is a man of integrity. I have known him for close to 9 yrs. He is very kind and loves children. I would certainly put my children’s futures in his hands. He has worked very hard for everything he has. People who know him trust him because we know him. Want your children to get a great education in GA, vote John Barge.