As I wrote earlier, Republican Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts means there are no more gimmes in politics for the foreseeable future. There’s just one thing: For the gimmes to end, a lot of people have to run races they otherwise might not have run.
The early signs are that this isn’t happening in Georgia. Our state might seem less prone to the national flavor of anti-incumbency, given that it is controlled by Republicans rather than the Democrats who dominate Washington. But the GOP has ruled Georgia for the better part of a decade now, and fed up is fed up — on all levels, and with all people in power.
Buzz Brockway, the former Gwinnett County GOP chairman, has compiled fund-raising data for candidates in contested state-level races. He’s posted them on the political blog Peach Pundit.
Here are the sad facts according to that data:
In the Georgia Senate, exactly one Republican (Judson Hill) and one Democrat (Vincent Fort) face primary opposition as of today. Just three more incumbents have a challenger from another party. That’s five out of the 50 senators seeking re-election.
Things are almost as bad in the House, where six Republicans and six Democrats must fight primaries. Nine will have opposition in the general election. So, 21 of the 169 representatives running for re-election face some kind of opposition. In just four of the state’s 180 districts will there be a primary battle in at least one party and a contested general election.
Now, most statewide offices are open this fall, and there will be good primary battles among D’s and R’s for most of them. Those races may have sucked some of the life out of the down-ballot races.
But the story of Scott Brown, Republican, and now junior senator from Massachusetts, tells us there are upsets for the taking. Are there any takers?