Cagle drops out of governor’s race

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, a leading Republican contender for governor in 2010, dropped out of the race Wednesday.

Cagle told reporters he has had back and neck pain for several years, but it progressed during the 2009 session to the point where he had some paralysis. He tried therapy, but was advised that he needed surgery.

“I’ve been diagnosed with some serious nerve and bone problems and a degenerative spinal condition,” he told reporters at a Capitol news conference.  ” The issue could be hereditary or it could be the result of an old injury, but the unfortunate reality is that it requires immediate surgical treatment.”  

Cagle said he will have the surgery and would run for re-election next year to his current job. Running for lieutenant governor is generally seen as less strenuous than running for governor, which is essentially a full-time job.

“This is a challenge I have to face,” Cagle said.

Cagle choked up several times during his announcement at the Capitol. He was surrounded by his family.

Before the announcement, he called two Republican state senators, David Shafer and Eric Johnson, who are already running for lieutenant governor, to tell them of his plans.

Shafer put out a statement after the press conference saying, “We are re-evaluating our options in light of his decision.”

Cagle  was on of three top Republican statewide elected officials in the race to replace retiring Gov. Sonny Perdue. The other two are Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine and Secretary of State Karen Handel. 

Cagle had raised the most money in the race. But he also came under criticism for the General Assembly’s inability to approve a transportation funding plan during the 2009 session.

After Cagle’s announcement, Oxendine called him “a friend,” even though last week he accused the lieutenant governor of stopping key legislation during the 2009 session. He said Cagle and his family would “be in my prayers and I wish him well and a speedy recovery.”

In an earlier statement, Oxendine said, “I would consider it an honor to earn the support of my fellow Republicans who had initially chosen to support Casey Cagle. I am at their service to answer any questions they have about my race, and where I stand on the issues, and help move this party forward with a conservative nominee.”

Republican Cobb County Commission Chairman Sam Olens said Cagle’s announcement “makes it highly likely I will enter the race” for governor.

Former Adjutant General David Poythress, a Democrat running for governor, said, “Casey Cagle would have been a formidable opponent in the general election but we all know that state-wide political campaigns can be volatile.  Candidates may come and go, but I’m in the governor’s race until the last vote is counted and expect to be the next governor of Georgia.”

Former Gov. Roy Barnes, another likely candidate for governor, was unavailable for comment.

91 comments Add your comment

Bill

April 15th, 2009
2:01 pm

Karma is a bitch……

Mark

April 15th, 2009
2:02 pm

As a person, I wish him well. As a Republican I am glad he is no longer in the running.

KingRoy

April 15th, 2009
2:02 pm

Pain in the neck? Ironic.

Barbarosa

April 15th, 2009
2:04 pm

It’s as good an excuse as any. Who’s the frontrunner?

Shannon

April 15th, 2009
2:05 pm

Well that pretty much gave it to Oxendine.

d

April 15th, 2009
2:06 pm

Oxy-Moron , good riddance.

professional skeptic

April 15th, 2009
2:06 pm

I wish him all the best in his road to recovery. But I am glad he won’t be leading our state.

Joe Bland

April 15th, 2009
2:08 pm

This smells like Pierre Howard, another lieutenant governor seemingly on the rise. Whatever happened to that guy?

d

April 15th, 2009
2:10 pm

Roy, Roy – He’s our boy.

Denny

April 15th, 2009
2:10 pm

That is what happens when you spend 4 years without getting your name out to the voters! To late to drum up name recognition….

Onlycritter

April 15th, 2009
2:10 pm

The weight of his inaction for the last two years finally got to him.

KILJOY

April 15th, 2009
2:11 pm

Sorry for his misfortune but he is a part of a republican leadership team that has performed very poorly for this state. It is really time for a complete shake up in state government. Perdue is out by term limits but Cagle, Richardson, et al deserve to be booted at the ballot box by public minded servants who will take the state’s business seriously.

CapitolObzerver

April 15th, 2009
2:16 pm

Back problems … or back-bone problems?

RoyisaRat

April 15th, 2009
2:16 pm

Hope a good Republican candidate steps up and beats down that old, waste of life, Roy Barnes. Georgia doesn’t need another term from that old moonbat. In all seriousness, has Barnes won a legal case in the last 4 or 5 years?

Peter

April 15th, 2009
2:16 pm

Good, Cagle dropped out. It’s time for a Democrat Governor. Some of those non-active Georgia Republican Legislators need to drop out of the race too.

Jack

April 15th, 2009
2:17 pm

Maybe the poll that Jim Galloway reported was done a few days ago was Cagle’s and he saw the results. The surgery excuse doesn’t hold water, there is more to this story and am surprised he is using the excuse he is cause its so obviously lame. Handel doesn’t have a college degree and her time at Fulton County was a disaster and Oxendine is a lightweight. Why won’t a substantive business leader run? We need a Bloomberg or Romney or Corzine!

Woody

April 15th, 2009
2:20 pm

Roy Barnes…yeah, that’s the ticket. What a eunuch! And a back-stabber to boot!

Vicki

April 15th, 2009
2:21 pm

The reasons for pulling out does not pass the “smell test”….

janet

April 15th, 2009
2:21 pm

The GOP has been grooming Karen Handel but with her record running Fulton County and her handling of the 2008 elections she needs the Extreme Makeover Politican Edition to even get serious attention by the voters.

Sharon

April 15th, 2009
2:21 pm

Corzine, are you kidding me??? Jersey voters are going to put him out of the job in November!!!

Kyle

April 15th, 2009
2:22 pm

What a sad and embarrassing day for GA. The religious right takes another hit. He can’t do what he wants to do, because he didn’t do what he was supposed to do. Good job Casey…

Reece

April 15th, 2009
2:22 pm

Looks like Roy is getting his old job back. LOL

bulldogbubba

April 15th, 2009
2:23 pm

Has someone called Cynthia McKinney yet? She wants to be king.

Just thinking......

April 15th, 2009
2:28 pm

I wonder if Clark Howard could save the state money and run it as effeciently as he does his own finances. He might be a refreshing change.

retiredds

April 15th, 2009
2:32 pm

As long as Georgia continues to hold on to these retread Repubs in the statehouse our state will lose more and more clout nationally. When the Repubs took over 8 years ago they promised a new day for GA. We have not seen the light of day since the Repubs became GA’s majority party. Continue to elect mediocrity and you will get mediocre results.

James McCoy

April 15th, 2009
2:35 pm

Lester Maddox would happily rise from the dead if ask?Ax and all!

King of Stone Mtn

April 15th, 2009
2:36 pm

Best of wishes with the recovery efforts. Otherwise…SEE YA!

Eric

April 15th, 2009
2:41 pm

I am a bit of a neophyte when it comes to GA politics, what is the situation with Oxendine vis a vis the Republican party in GA?

CDog

April 15th, 2009
2:41 pm

Cagle was a RINO as evidenced by his opposition to Mitch Seabaugh’s gun law reform and by his opposition to Glen Richardson’s tax reform. Oxendine’s views represent the majority of Georgians better than Cagle. The Democrats have no one of significance in the pipeline. They held complete power in Georgia for 125+ years. The GOP has had power for 7. So, no it is not time for a Democrat governor.

James McCoy

April 15th, 2009
2:43 pm

What makes people in Georgia believe there is a ounce of difference between Republicans and Democrats?All of them lie with a straight face and a smile!

Greg Worthington

April 15th, 2009
2:45 pm

This gubernatorial race just lost its best candidate. Oxendine is sure to be throwing a party right now. I hope everything turns out okay for Cagle and his family.

Todd

April 15th, 2009
2:49 pm

We need fresh ideas, the GOP and Perdue plan has gotten GA where, at or near the bottom nationwide in job loss, foreclosures, education, infrastructure etc….On another note if Repub’s are so against taxes in this state, why do we still have a state income tax? All these other traditional Red states, Florida, Texas, Alaska, South Dakota don’t have state income tax. No I know it wouldn’t make sense to get rid of it now in these economic times, but with the Tea Party tonight, where’s the outrage? hhhmmmm.

SpaceyG

April 15th, 2009
2:52 pm

Cagle’s “health” issues, eh? Worst kept secret in GA. Wish I had “health” issues like that!

Bill Mc.

April 15th, 2009
2:55 pm

Cagle has done more harm by doing nothing than anyone else in Georgia. Now I realize though that it was his bad back that kept him from taking a firm stand or acting on anything.

sd

April 15th, 2009
2:56 pm

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, don’t vote for Oxendine. He is very corrupt. I wish I could tell what I know.

DW

April 15th, 2009
2:56 pm

I wish Lt. Gov. Cagle well in his recovery.

MBC

April 15th, 2009
3:02 pm

Hmmm, I wonder who Cagle’s been sleeping with? He came riding into town with his Bible in one hand and his tallywacker in the other hand…

GA voter

April 15th, 2009
3:05 pm

At least one uneducated Republican is out of the race. Now we need to Karen Handel out with her high school education too. Let’s get some new blood with brains in the Governor’s race! (Neither Cagle or Handel have a college degree. Pathetic!!)

BULLDOGSGIRL

April 15th, 2009
3:10 pm

What about Austin Scott??? nothing was mentioned about him????

tc

April 15th, 2009
3:13 pm

no college degree in this state of hicks…..probably a plus

GB

April 15th, 2009
3:14 pm

Casey not running, huh? Who woulda thought we’d have such good news during the Obama Administration…

aceOhartz

April 15th, 2009
3:24 pm

Keran Hanel NO NO NO NO NO absolutely NOT

Michael

April 15th, 2009
3:35 pm

As they say at the Court of Appeals – right for any reason.

chiro.

April 15th, 2009
3:41 pm

I met the Lt. Governor last week. It was evident the guy had a back injury. He looked stiff, even for a republican.

Red Foreman

April 15th, 2009
3:43 pm

Come on Libtards, give us some more hate!!!!!

Yeah, you are the progressive, oops, obssesive party!!!! Maybe the Mesiah Presbo Oblahma can come down and give ole Rat-face Roy a boost…

Ted Nugent-2012 Mark it on your calendar!

kreedham

April 15th, 2009
3:46 pm

I’m assuming that Lynn Westmoreland is still interested and probably more so since Cagle is dropping out. Hope he runs…not because I want him as Governor, I don’t think he’d win. I just want a new congressman even if it’s another Republican.

Braves#1

April 15th, 2009
3:48 pm

Oxendine a light weight? OLOLOLOLOLOL. You dont know John at all. I have dealt with him at the Tax office and he is no light weight believe me. He also thinks America should be American and will take this state where it needs to be. Full of employment and low on taxes for everyone. He knows what hes doing. He has traveled to many countries and seen the results of low taxes on corporations and it works. Economy will be great and he wont bail out to the government either. Might want to read about him before you judge him.

Greg

April 15th, 2009
3:48 pm

MBC – You have no heart. For the sake of keeping idiots like you from ruining the AJC, please explain your comment of how Cagle came to town with “his tallywacker in the other hand”.

I am dying to hear this one!

CapitolObzerver

April 15th, 2009
3:49 pm

Who Cares?

April 15th, 2009
3:53 pm

Yeah, lets bash those with no college degrees. The educated idiots currently in all levels of our government seem to be doing such a fine job. Yep we’re in great shape as a society since we’re under the leadership of those highly educated fools who have placed us in such prosperity! Lets continue to cave in to political correctness under the guidance of educated morons who couldn’t operate a corner hot dog stand!

Indie Pendie

April 15th, 2009
3:56 pm

I just hope the Governor’s race is a good one. There’s nothing like good ole Southern politics to heat things up.Oxendine would be my pick if I had to go Repub(he’s done a good job in his current position), but Roy has got my vote(if he runs) unless someone astounding comes along.

kk

April 15th, 2009
4:10 pm

I’ve known the Cagle family most of my life and it’s a sad day for Georgia!

GT

April 15th, 2009
4:12 pm

We should have put Cathy Cox in the office last time. We let Bubba beat her, and then sat back and watched a soap opera which is business as usual. I think Cox is president of some college in North Georgia, Bubba is God knows where with his trophy wife and I think we all have had about as much Sonny as we can stand. Surely we can do better this time.

Heidi Thompson

April 15th, 2009
4:15 pm

Has anyone considered four term Gwinnett Country Commissioner Kevin Kenerly? He has a lot of experience responsibly managing a large budget and fighting tough political battles.

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Grad student

April 15th, 2009
4:22 pm

I found out that Cagle does not have a college degree and neither does Karen Handel! I would not vote for you if you did not graduate from college.

Brad

April 15th, 2009
4:25 pm

What about Austin Scott out of Tifton? He is running.

Steve

April 15th, 2009
4:28 pm

Oxendine has no chance in Georgia once someone outs him…

DeKalb Guy

April 15th, 2009
4:28 pm

I don’t care that Karen Handel doesn’t have a college degree. Neither did George Washington or Abraham Lincoln.

Steve

April 15th, 2009
4:29 pm

What about Austin Scott out of Tifton? He is running.

Austin Scott is the biggest buffoon of the bunch

Poultry

April 15th, 2009
4:30 pm

Sounds like Cagle may have Addison’s disease, which was taking down JFK before the latter was shot first.

If Addison’s, then I pity Mr. Cagle, though I detest his politics.

JGM

April 15th, 2009
4:42 pm

With Cagle out of the race, this makes Oxendine the frontrunner. He has the name recognition.

Coastal Cavalier

April 15th, 2009
4:44 pm

Can someone please tell me what difference it makes whether a candidate has a college degree or not? As the late Speaker of the U-S House Sam Rayburn said of the self described “best and the brightest” of the JFK administration, “I would be a lot happier if one of them had at least run for sheriff.”

Dilly

April 15th, 2009
4:52 pm

The bad news is Cagle is not running.

The really good news is that filthy racist Cynthia Tucker is moving to DC. The IQ of Atlanta will increase once she hits the road.

King of Stone Mtn

April 15th, 2009
4:56 pm

Hey “kk”…Are you missing a 3rd ‘k’…………..? :P

Bob

April 15th, 2009
5:00 pm

I agree with DeKalb Guy – What does having a college degree or not have to do with the qualifications to be an effective Governor of our state? Would you say that anyone that enlisted and has served in the military without attending college would also be unfit for the position?

Too many people in our country associate years of education with actual knowledge.

luangtom

April 15th, 2009
5:01 pm

SD@2:56PM….why do folks like you persist on holding out a carrot and then saying, “Naw, can’t tell ya…”???? Either say it or keep it to yourself until you can. And, what’s with all of this” unless they have a college-degree one cannot vote for them”? How does having a college degree instill COMMON- SENSE and INTEGRITY? How many of the educated legislators in Washington DC are “educated” and yet have zero common-sense or integrity? Where did college-degree requirements come from?

FA

April 15th, 2009
5:03 pm

What a relief! I told him his sorry butt was outta there after he blocked the vote to do away with the “Birthday Tax”! On a personal level, I hope he gets better, but he stinks as an elected official.

JDE

April 15th, 2009
5:10 pm

I think Sam Olens has a serious shot at the GOP nomination. He’s a great communicator, very effective, and a moderate Republican; in other words he gets along with everyone. Unfortunately he’s not well known outside of Cobb County.

Mark

April 15th, 2009
5:11 pm

Pardon the pun…but does this mean he’s spineless?

Bob

April 15th, 2009
5:15 pm

JDE – The article in the Sunday AJC a few weeks back highlighted Olens as a potential candidate. Hopefully, readers were able to see his ability to effectively Cobb County and how it could translate to the state level.

JDE

April 15th, 2009
5:24 pm

Bob, that article is what got me thinking about Sam. He’s good for Cobb Co(I’m a resident) and I know he’d be good for the State. I believe he’s announcing his intentions this Friday. The news concerning Cagle should be encouraging to him if he decides to throw his hat in the ring. If he takes the same fiscal conservancy as Gov that he follows as head of Cobb Co. Commission, then we as Georgians will all be off for the better.

Spectator

April 15th, 2009
5:30 pm

We’ve come a long way since George Washington and Abraham Lincoln; not many had college degrees back then. Times are different and we need progressive smart people in office, not more of the same.

Who Cares?

April 15th, 2009
5:34 pm

Yeah, lets keep those out who don’t have a college education! This current group of educated, politically correct idiots have done such a marvelous job in running our government at all levels that we need to look for more incompetence. Come on people, somewhere along the way we’ve been tricked in to believing that education is the same as intelligence, knowledge, experience, and capability. We’ve all seen educated idiots. Lets start focusing on electing people to serve us who at least could run a corner hot dog stand!

Bob

April 15th, 2009
5:55 pm

“Times are different and we need progressive smart people in office, not more of the same.”

Because college degree = progressive smart person, right?

Being progressive and open-minded translates into looking for the best possible candidates regardless of any preconceived notions of what the prototypical governor is.

the winner is

April 15th, 2009
5:58 pm

Jerry Keen will be Georgia’s next Governor!

Poultry

April 15th, 2009
6:02 pm

You all have said some very harsh things about Lietenant Governor Cagle, and I just want you to know that I’m proud of you.

He’s a disgusting example of the political species, and whatever it is that takes him off the board game, the better. Screw him.

However, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Have you no mercy?

Charlie Kane

April 15th, 2009
6:08 pm

Kenerly?! You’ve to be kidding: crooked as dog’s hind leg. Went into office with neither a pot nor window, now he’s a high rollin’ gambler. And, BTW, he’s also functionally illiterate.

Poultry

April 15th, 2009
6:10 pm

Oh, and while we’re at it, allow me to point to the elephant: Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, is a perfect ass.

KM

April 15th, 2009
6:12 pm

Sam Olens is an effective and competent leader, but will get his brains beat in if he throws his name in the hat. Most folks outside of the metro area will see him as nothing more than metro Atlanta’s candidate. I for one hope we see an “outside the box” thinker from the business community the same way other states like CA have seen on the Republican side. We need some fresh ideas, brains, and competency.

Poultry

April 15th, 2009
6:15 pm

@ Spectator,

While it could be argued that Washington benefited from his formal education, still it is true that Lincoln had none. None, whatsoever. Lincoln’s palpable envy of those who were more educationally privileged is one of his most formative features.

Lincoln loved Washington, but Lincoln would have killed to’ve had Washington’s advantages.

Bank on it.

Claudio

April 15th, 2009
6:21 pm

If Cagle had stayed in the race, he would have won hands down. This is my opinion from Brasil.

Zup

April 15th, 2009
6:24 pm

Sex scandal cover up! This guy was jonesin to be gov. but now he’s being blackmailed. Hopefully it didn’t happen in an airport bathroom.

MBC

April 15th, 2009
6:35 pm

Greg @ 3:48,

“I am dying to hear this one!”

Can I help you out with that?

Glen

April 15th, 2009
6:43 pm

I wish him a speedy recovery because he is still a human being. I wish the Republicans would get over it. They lost the Presidential contest and this tea party is just a bunch of diehard Republicans wanting to voice their fading voice. I notice most of the people at this tea party are mostly one race…ummm…sad…in 2009 it still exist in America. Get over it…Obama won…where was the outrage when Bush ran up the deficit…

Glen

April 15th, 2009
6:45 pm

I live in Cobb County…Sam Olens is not qaulified to be governor…please…

Tony

April 15th, 2009
6:48 pm

kreedham, I like your comment about Lynn Westmoreland. He is our rep for northern Columbus, and I would love to see him be replaced. Just wishful thinking.

Poultry

April 15th, 2009
6:55 pm

Claudio, I personally would have worked very hard against any Cagle race for the governorship, but I respect your opinion and suspect that you are correct.

Gil M.

April 15th, 2009
7:00 pm

Will somebody please tell DeKalbGuy that Lincoln had a law degree? But anyway, lacking a college degree shouldn’t disqualify you for high office. That’s not the point.

What’s more relevant is the candidates’ political positions. Both Cagle and Oxendine have been endorsed by Georgia Right to Life. GRTL would not endorse Handel because she’s for too many exceptions allowing abortions. It’s unfortunate that Cagle withdrew. Oxendine is the pro-lifer’s only viable candidate now.

Poultry

April 15th, 2009
9:58 pm

Lincoln lacked a law “degree”. At that time, and well into the 20th Century, anyone read in the law could challenge the examiners, and that is what Lincoln did. He was a near-perfect autodidact.

When his brother-in-law saw how much money Lincoln was making as a corporate attorney representing the Chicago rail interests, the brother-in-law asked Abraham’s advice as to how to cash in likewise. Lincoln said that the main point was to get ahold of the books and to learn them in principle. As Lincoln said, “I studied in New Salem, which never had three hundred people living in it.”

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