State of the Georgia Senate race

It’s been four weeks since Georgia’s senior senator, Saxby Chambliss, announced he would not run for re-election next year. That news triggered an avalanche of speculation about who would run for the seat, with the field expected to get very crowded very quickly. That hasn’t happened. No one has entered the race or even admitted to giving it serious consideration on the Democratic side, and the GOP field has been developing only slowly:

  • Congressman Paul Broun, R-Athens, was the first to file his paperwork to run and has been running online ads for a couple of weeks now. Yesterday, he touted the endorsement of TheTeaParty.net, a Washington, D.C.-based outfit that bills itself as the nation’s largest tea-party group.
  • Last week, Congressman Jack Kingston, R-Savannah, said he was running for Senate while speaking to the Forsyth County GOP. The very fact Kingston was speaking to a Republican group in a county a couple of hundred miles from his district tells you about all you need to know. A person familiar with Kingston’s thinking told me the congressman wants to do some more fund-raising before making his candidacy official. In December, Kingston’s campaign committee reported having just under $1 million in cash on hand. That’s much more than the $156,000 Broun reported, but it’s not as much as some of the other potential candidates.
  • Congressman Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta, has been the subject of numerous reports this week that he will enter the race. The Washington Post has a story citing two unnamed ones saying Gingrey is telling people he is in the race. The Hill newspaper earlier cited GOP strategist Tom Perdue saying Gingrey was calling people to tell them he’s in. But Gingrey emailed me last night to say it is only true that he is “very interested in [the Senate race] and strongly considering it. However, at this point I am still undecided.” Based on my own conversations with people close to Gingrey, I will be surprised if he does not run.
  • Congressman Tom Price, R-Roswell, whom many thought would be one of the first candidates out of the gate, has instead punted on making a decision until May. While he would probably be the front-runner if he were to enter the race, a person familiar with his thinking told me Price currently is only 50/50 as to whether he will run. One concern he apparently doesn’t have is adverse intervention by Gov. Nathan Deal. Price and governor have had chilly relations ever since Price retracted his endorsement of Deal in the 2010 gubernatorial election and instead backed Karen Handel. But I am told the governor intends to be completely neutral in the Senate race, not least because he will be focused on his own re-election next year. If Price does not run, Handel — who comes from the same North Fulton base — would be much more likely to enter the Senate race.

That’s where things stand now, at least as far as I’ve been able to track them down.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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207 comments Add your comment

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

February 22nd, 2013
10:58 am

“The very fact Kingston was speaking to a Republican group in a county a couple of hundred miles from his district tells you about all you need to know.”

That, and Forsyth County being one of the most solidly Republican counties in nation didn’t hurt, either, Kyle.

Matz

February 22nd, 2013
11:00 am

Would love to follow the dapper Dr. Price around on his South Georgia campaign stops and watch him try to make a personal connection with the natives. Heh…. Maybe he can wear a camo hunting cap and some scuffed-up work boots. They’ll LOVE him down there! Hahaha!

Jefferson

February 22nd, 2013
11:02 am

The southern part of the state is less “stupid”

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

February 22nd, 2013
11:02 am

Well, Kingston or Price will be the choice, unless someone better gets in the race. Let the best man win. Neither are ideal, but we gotta play them we got, and whomever we throw out there, will be better than the one the Dems nominate.

A Liberal Mess

February 22nd, 2013
11:03 am

Price would have my vote. He’s certainly very intelligent and well spoken. He would do well representing our wonderful bright red state.

Stephenson Billings

February 22nd, 2013
11:03 am

I’ll support whoever makes the libs most upset. That’s usually a good barometer of their position.

Rockerbabe

February 22nd, 2013
11:03 am

Georgia needs a real change of leadership in the Senate and NONE of the GOP candidates is going to provide that change. Too bad for all of us as the demographics are changing.

Stephenson Billings

February 22nd, 2013
11:05 am

And repeal the 17th amendment while we’re at it :D

Cheesy Grits is gone but not forgotten

February 22nd, 2013
11:13 am

Spin the wheel of Tea Party crazy.

Where will it land !!!!

A Liberal Mess

February 22nd, 2013
11:13 am

Stephenson Billings:

I’m with you on that. I don’t see any dem candidate having a chance here in Georgia. But we must look at what happened in Indiana and Missouri and learn from it. The dems will demonize a candidate for political gain even if they have to mislead and lie to do it.

Cheesy Grits is gone but not forgotten

February 22nd, 2013
11:15 am

Tom Price voted against a bill prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation (Nov 2007). He voted in favor of constitutionally defining marriage as one-man-one-woman (Jul 2006). Representative Price voted against H.R. 2965, which would have ended Don’t ask, don’t tell. He receives a 0% rating by the Human Rights Campaign, indicating an anti-gay-rights stance, according to that organization

He will fit right in with the other bigots.

Cheesy Grits is gone but not forgotten

February 22nd, 2013
11:17 am

But we must look at what happened in Indiana and Missouri and learn from it. The dems will demonize a candidate for political gain even if they have to mislead and lie to do it.

Those candidates shot themselves in the foot.

They didn’t need any help.

Thomas Heyward Jr

February 22nd, 2013
11:18 am

Remember TARP and the NDAA of 2012.
.
That will always seperate the wheat from the chaff.
(in polite terms).
.
Hey Chambliss…………….don’t leave town.
The People might have some questions.
.
lol

Matz

February 22nd, 2013
11:18 am

“The dems will demonize a candidate for political gain even if they have to mislead and lie to do it.”

And good Godly draft-dodging Republicans like Mr. Chambliss would never do such a thing to get that Senate seat, right?

Halftrack

February 22nd, 2013
11:18 am

It is a long time until Primary time. Candidates that seem “hot” right now may not be the candidate we want when the finish line is just ahead. Circumstances and conditions change rapidly today. It is better to give a good vetting to all the candidates before making our selection. Political races and horse racing have a lot in common, a lot of jockying.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

February 22nd, 2013
11:22 am

whomever we throw out there, will be better than the one the Dems nominate

ie, anybody but a Democrat.

snoqualmiefalls

February 22nd, 2013
11:24 am

How odd of Mr. Broun with an R behind his name… touting an endorsement from a Tea Party. So is he an R in name only? Or is he a member of the Tea Party espousing that agenda? If he is a member of the Tea party why doesn’t he act and speak as such? Considering the fact the Tea Party gave a response to the State of the Union, outside of the regular R Party, where is this guy in all of this political discourse? I’m so confused, probably not the opnly one either.

breckenridge

February 22nd, 2013
11:28 am

Jack Kingston believes creationism is a valid science. Paul Broun believes the theory of evolution comes straight from the pit of hell. Current two-thirds of Americans don’t believe the Bible is word-for-word true, and that number is growing every year. By the year 2020 it will be fewer than 30%.

Gee what’s wrong with this picture…………

A Liberal Mess

February 22nd, 2013
11:33 am

Cheesy Grits is gone but not forgotten:

How about slither back over to Bookman’s blog. Your input is not needed here where intelligent minds meet…

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

February 22nd, 2013
11:33 am

“Gee what’s wrong with this picture…………”

You’re a religious bigot who thinks he knows it all?

R U Kidding Me?

February 22nd, 2013
11:34 am

The next United State Senator will NOT come from this list of potential candidates. All of these current members of Congress are a part of the problem and the reason Congress has an 11% approval rating. Look for a strong, well financed, conservative, candidate with good name recognition to emerge from the business sector and be a serious contender. It’s time for some fresh faces. Enough of these re-cycled career politicians.

Stephenson Billings

February 22nd, 2013
11:34 am

Of course the last thing I want to do is take advice from the libs on who the Republicans should pick. They did like McCain afterall….

Politico

February 22nd, 2013
11:35 am

“How about slither back over to Bookman’s blog. Your input is not needed here where intelligent minds meet…”

Unless I missed it, when did Wingfield appoint you as blog sheriff?

Oh, he didn’t, but do blather on

Politico

February 22nd, 2013
11:37 am

As for the article; will be a tough primary with the winner winning big in the general election.

Can’t wait for the Broun riding a dinosaur down 316 commercial.

A Liberal Mess

February 22nd, 2013
11:43 am

Politico:

Just callum like I see um sport…. A lib has no place here because it would require honest debate…

Numbers-R-US

February 22nd, 2013
11:43 am

Vote Paul Broun, cons. You will not find anyone more representative of you.

Politico

February 22nd, 2013
11:45 am

Take it up with Kyle, sport.

Within the rules anyone is welcome to blog here. Yes you are welcome to cry about it as you are doing now, but in the end, like you, it means nothing.

Now blather on and have a great day.

Numbers-R-US

February 22nd, 2013
11:45 am

A lib has no place here because it would require honest debate…

Definitely something the cons cannot deliver.

Retired Soldier

February 22nd, 2013
11:48 am

Matz-

And Dems never dodged the draft, right?

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

February 22nd, 2013
11:49 am

You forgot to add that the liberals don’t stand a damn chance.

JDW

February 22nd, 2013
11:54 am

Looks like a big game of cat and mouse played by midgets so far. PIty maybe we will get a decent candidate before it’s over…wonder if Sam might like his job back :?:

jconservative

February 22nd, 2013
11:55 am

” I’ll support whoever makes the libs most upset. ”

Conversations I have had with liberal types over the last few weeks indicates that they are praying it is Broun.

A Liberal Mess

February 22nd, 2013
12:00 pm

jconservative:

I would rather it not be him because like I said they’ll distort, lie, and cheat to slime him as much as they can. The great thing here in Georgia though is that libs really don’t have much of a voice. The few lib bloggers around the state have little following and no one watches CNN or MessNBC here….

Retired Soldier

February 22nd, 2013
12:00 pm

JDW-

Nunn used to be a moderate/conservative, but the last term he voted much more main line Dem. He would be just has liberal if elected now as Cleland was and hence unacceptable to most in Georgia. Besides, Nunn is so yesterday’s news. Pretty sad when you have to reach back to the last century for a candidate.

breckenridge

February 22nd, 2013
12:00 pm

“You’re a religious bigot who thinks he knows it all?”

A religious bigot? I suppose. I have an extreme bias against all religious fundamentalists, be they Christian, Muslim or Jewish. I find the idea that people actually believe bad fiction written two thousand years ago to be literally true is absolutely absurd. I’m not biased against religion in general, just religious fundamentalism of all stripes. In my book Muslim and Christian fundamentalists receive equal billing.

I’m also a strong supporter of the Constitution and the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment. And I firmly believe that any American that actively works to legislate his religious beliefs is a traitor that should be either sent to prison for life or executed for crimes against America.

Any other questions?

A Liberal Mess

February 22nd, 2013
12:01 pm

Politico:

A lib has no place here because it would require honest debate…

Thanks for proving my point…

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

February 22nd, 2013
12:02 pm

“And I firmly believe that any American that actively works to legislate his religious beliefs is a traitor that should be either sent to prison for life or executed for crimes against America.”

And YOU think religious fundamentalists are extremists . . . . :roll:

A Liberal Mess

February 22nd, 2013
12:03 pm

breckenridge:

In my book Muslim and Christian fundamentalists receive equal billing.

I looked this book up on Amazon and couldn’t find it.

Retired Soldier

February 22nd, 2013
12:06 pm

breckenridge-.

“In my book Muslim and Christian fundamentalists receive equal billing.”

When was the last time Christian fundamentalists flew 3 planes into buildings or killed an ambassador? Equal? Not hardly.

JDW

February 22nd, 2013
12:12 pm

@Retired Soldier…”Pretty sad when you have to reach back to the last century for a candidate.”

I agree…that is how I view the state of politics in Georgia…pretty sad.

We need moderate/Conservative and in some cases left leaning…what we got is Wingnuts.

Politico

February 22nd, 2013
12:13 pm

Liberal Mess

Have a tissue, you are crying and sniffling too much.

You haven’t debated anything. You have cried, but no attempt at debate. Insulting and crying about who blogs here isn’t debate, but nice try………. I guess

A Liberal Mess

February 22nd, 2013
12:16 pm

JDW:

Well the people voice their opinion with their vote. And right now the voters want Conservative Christians running our state who stand for traditional values and good stewardship of our tax dollars.

WAW

February 22nd, 2013
12:16 pm

A friend suggested that there should be a group consisting of middle and lower income people, people not WASP, and moderates to defeat these right wing Randies. Can I get a Block Vote? Who would lead such a group? Could such a group meet more than once without a shouting match? I don’t see it happening, but would be open to any opposition candidates.

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

February 22nd, 2013
12:18 pm

Yep, Finn as long as the Dems continue to try and evade and ignore Constitutional limits, anyone is better than a Dem.

A Liberal Mess

February 22nd, 2013
12:18 pm

Politico:

My 1st post:

A Liberal Mess
February 22nd, 2013
11:03 am

Price would have my vote. He’s certainly very intelligent and well spoken. He would do well representing our wonderful bright red state.

Your 1st post:

Politico
February 22nd, 2013
11:35 am

“How about slither back over to Bookman’s blog. Your input is not needed here where intelligent minds meet…”

Unless I missed it, when did Wingfield appoint you as blog sheriff?

Oh, he didn’t, but do blather on

Nice debate.. LOL…

Will

February 22nd, 2013
12:19 pm

Even if the repubs nominated a radical extremist like Congressman Broun, I cannot see any way that a dem can take this seat.

As a matter of fact, I think the state is safely republican through at least two more election cycles and, if the General Assembly leadership will follow the path of the dems when they were in charge, I think repubs can hold on for a cycle of two beyond that. Successful and throughful redrawing of election districts will keep the General Assembly republican even after the changing demographics of the state make the state democratic. Add in continuing voter suppression tactics and the repubs hang on longer

The key here is “hang on” because the day will finally arrive when the state moves toward a more balanced political divide with the tide moving toward a new democrat majority. There are only so many ways you can remain in control in this state while being satisfied with winning the white majority.

Just Saying..

February 22nd, 2013
12:19 pm

So, from 18+ months out, the confidence Republicans retain the seat seems at least as great as the confidence Obama loses.
Sleep well…

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

February 22nd, 2013
12:20 pm

“and in some cases left leaning”

Yeah, so we can screw up this country even further . . . .

sailfish

February 22nd, 2013
12:21 pm

I hope max clelland runs again and gets elected if for not only to correct the injustice done to him by chambliss and rove.

A Liberal Mess

February 22nd, 2013
12:21 pm

With Price hopefully running it reminds me of what Dr. Ben Carson said. Doctors should get into politics more because they are some of the most educated people in society. Many politicians are lawyers who are some of the most corrupt people in our society.