Coming to you live from the Georgia Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson dinner at the Hyatt Regency downtown, where the announced candidates for the party’s nomination for governor are about to meet outside with reporters.
It was the three announced candidates … and one other guy.
House Minority Leader DuBose Porter (D-Dublin), Attorney General Thurbert Baker and Adjutant Gen. David Poythress were all there as was former Gov. Roy Barnes.
Barnes, of course, has been the subject of much is he or isn’t he speculation. Was his presence in that group, put together by the state party, an indication of his intentions? We’ll let you know once it’s over.
Update 6:58: Is Barnes running?
“I don’t know yet,” he said.
He said he’s continuing his informal “listening tour” of the state and remains displeased with what he sees as a lack of leadership in the Gold Dome and the tremendous influence of special interests.
But Barnes remained noncommittal about his intentions and said he would announce his decision “around” June 1.
What we did learn, however, was nearly as important as what we didn’t. For instance, he said his wife, Marie, said “if you want to run, I’m for it.” His three children said the same thing.
The Marietta lawyer called the three announced candidates “honorable folks,” a label that also applied, he said, to “most of the Republicans.”
“I know what it is to have to deal with the press and a lack of privacy and everything else,” he said.
He said he’s looking for vision. “And in that category, I haven’t seen it yet. It’s not that they’re not good folks. It’s just listen, we can do better.”
Asked what message that last part — “we can do better” — sends to the Democratic electorate should he decide not to run, Barnes said he hopes it would push voters to push the candidates.
“Push them to create a vision,” he said. “Push whoever runs to create a vision. A vision they feel passionately about. One that is going to leave us better than we already are and 25 years from now our grandchildren can look back at say that’s it. That’s what pushed us to greatness.”`