Carol Porter will seek the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor, joining her husband, DuBose Porter, as a potential husband and wife team at the top of the party’s ticket.
Carol Porter, who announced her intention at a Capitol news conference with her husband and their boys at her side, becomes the first Democrat to announce for lieutenant governor. Incumbent Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle is seeking re-election on the Republican side.
DuBose Porter, the House minority leader, is one of five Democrats seeking the gubernatorial nomination. Should they both become Democratic nominees, it sets up a potentially historic one-two punch. But Carol Porter said it’s not a gimmick aimed at boosting her husband’s campaign.
“If this is a gimmick and it’s going to get corruption out of government, you can give me a dozen,” she said.
While candidates for governor and lieutenant governor do not run together as a ticket in Georgia, Carol Porter said theirs will definitely be a team effort.
“We will be sharing the same message,” she said.
Porter said she’s only considered joining the race in the past two weeks after she earned positive feedback following her surrogate appearance on her husband’s behalf at a small business forum. The truth is, however, that Carol Porter has for years been known as a solid policy person with a firm grasp of issues. Until now, however, those talents were used in service of her husband’s campaigns. Now, she’s the one out front.
She and her husband run a chain of newspapers in Middle Georgia, a business, she said, that gives her unique qualifications.
“Our business touches every single business, large and small, in our community,” she said. “I truly know how hard it is to make a payroll.”
She said Cagle was out of touch with Georgia voters.
“Casey Cagle has an agenda that I believe is not in sync with the people of Georgia,” she said. “Casey has done a lot of things damaging to this state.”
Cagle campaign manager Ryan Cassin said the incumbent welcomes the challenger.
“As Georgia faces unprecedented challenges, Lt. Gov. Cagle has been a steady hand and principled leader,” Cassin said. “He is the candidate Georgians know and trust to confront the state’s most pressing issues at this crucial time.”
Carol Porter begins her campaign at a decided disadvantage. In addition to having an “R” next his name and a full-term under his belt, Cagle also has nearly $1 million in cash on hand.
Still, if both are elected, Carol and Dubose Porter would occupy rarefied space in the history of American politics. No comparable situation is readily known, although there certainly have been instances of husbands and wives serving together in one capacity or another.
In Texas, for example, earlier this decade the mayor of Dallas was married to a powerful state lawmaker. In California, Susan Jordan is running for her husband Pedro Nava’s state legislative seat while he runs for attorney general.
There are also plenty of examples of wives taking over husband’s seats after a death. Mary Bono and Jean Carnahan, widows of Sonny Bono and Mel Carnahan, being two examples. Bono took over her late husband’s seat in the U.S. House and Jean Carnahan her late husband’s U.S. Senate seat.
And, of course, former Alabama Gov. George Wallace, when faced by term limits, had his wife Lurleen run in his place in 1966.
Unique or not, it’s a great idea, DuBose Porter said.
“If you truly want family values in Georgia, elect a Georgia family,” he said.