Thurbert Baker to enter 2010 race for governor

Twelve-year Attorney General Thurbert Baker will enter the 2010 race for governor, a move that could make the Democratic side of the contest every bit as complicated as the Republican one.

Attorney General Thurbert Baker. Photo credit: Mikki K. Harris/AJC

Attorney General Thurbert Baker. Photo credit: Mikki K. Harris/AJC

Jeff DiSantis, acting as a spokesman for Baker, said the attorney general has prepared the paperwork necessary to start raising money, and will file official notice shortly after the Legislature adjourns.

“This is not a contingent discussion. This is not based on whoever else is running,” DiSantis said. “It doesn’t need to be couched.”

Baker, an African-American, won more votes than anyone else on the Democratic ticket in 2006, his last statewide election.

His intention is to run a tough-on-crime campaign. More details to come.

Former Gov. Roy Barnes and House Minority Leader DuBose Porter of Dublin, who are white, are already contemplating the race. David Poythress, former adjutant general of the Georgia National Guard, who is also white, is the only announced entry.

Baker’s entry could make competition for the African-American vote, which now dominates the Democratic primary, extremely tight.

And it could make a runoff much more likely. With five GOP candidates already in the contest, Republicans have conceded a runoff, which eats both time and money,. Democrats had planned to take tactical advantage of a GOP runoff by trying to reach a consensus on their ticket.

That seems more unlikely now. Democrats immediately expressed concern.

“The last thing that the Georgia Democratic party needs is at this point in time is an extensive, controversial and divisive primary season, especially in the governor’s race,” said state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond, who is also vice-chairman of the party.

A Baker decision to run for governor would also open up one more constitutional office for a high-cost, statewide race. On the Democratic side, state Rep. Rob Teilhet of Smyrna said Wednesday afternoon that he would file for the AG’s spot later this week.

Republican names immediately put into circulation include Robert Highsmith, former counsel to Gov. Sonny Perdue; state Sen. Preston Smith of Rome; and state Sen. Seth Harp of Midland.

Secretary of State Karen Handel and state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, both Republicans, will vacate their jobs to run for governor. State Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin, a Democrat, has said he won’t run for another term.

That leaves state School Superintendent Kathy Cox and Thurmond as the only constitutional officers remaining in place. And Thurmond is looking at either governor or lieutenant governor.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

99 comments Add your comment

Dave

April 1st, 2009
11:27 am

Good. Barnes, Porter and Baker are all good men. Let the games begin.

Tracey

April 1st, 2009
11:28 am

Count me out. He’s an idiot!

NickNick

April 1st, 2009
11:30 am

Dear Lord…

Tracey

April 1st, 2009
11:30 am

I remember Genarlo, the cop killing in Columbus, and the tasering in Gwinnett where he stood by and did nothing.

Carla

April 1st, 2009
11:36 am

As a middle-aged African-American female, I would never suppport Thurbert Baker for Governor. I do not like the way he handled the Genarlo Wilson case.

Norris

April 1st, 2009
11:38 am

African American or not…Remember Genarlo !!!!!!!!!!!

Will Jones - Atlanta

April 1st, 2009
11:50 am

Thanks for uncovering his “baldness,” Tracey. Baker is a fraud, with a bad rug.

GL Cornish

April 1st, 2009
11:51 am

Galloway…Baker may be African-American but contrary to your thinking he holds no special political place among and within that portion of the electorate. Why? Because he has done nothing to distinguish himself. The guy is affraid of his shadow.

G

April 1st, 2009
11:53 am

Mr. Baker,

Let me take this opportunity to assure you that I will most definitely NOT vote for you. You remind me too much of Zig Zag Zell which means you having a good chance of winning. I wish you luck in any event.

JCOPELAND

April 1st, 2009
11:56 am

He can run all he like. I will not be voting for him. I have had enough ouf his antics! He needs to just sit down and retire his political life.

Huh?

April 1st, 2009
12:03 pm

Now my question has been answered as to why he forecefully went after G. Wilson but after catching flack from people of both races he started back peddling. However, it is for this reason (among others i could name) that Mr. Baker will not receive my vote. According to the general blog, Mr. Baker might want to rethink his decision to run. It will prove unfruitful

Delta

April 1st, 2009
12:03 pm

Bad news for King Roy

[...] So says the AJC. [...]

SMH

April 1st, 2009
12:04 pm

I, too, am African American. I will NOT vote for Thurbert Baker.

[...] Read the Rest… var addthis_pub = ‘rslc’; var addthis_language = ‘en’;var addthis_options = ‘email, favorites, digg, delicious, myspace, google, facebook, reddit, live, more’; [...]

Writegirl

April 1st, 2009
12:13 pm

Thurbert Baker will never get my vote. Ever! He thinks that the black community is stupid enough to vote for him only because he is black. Hasn’t he heard? People select candidates because of their qualifications and character. And as far as I’m concerned he has neither.

rwh

April 1st, 2009
12:17 pm

Mr. Baker’s run for governor for the state of Georgia is already hitting people wrong. The eyes have seen and the ears have heard of many issues and impending outcomes that has not been in the interest of the public. Steping forward to clear up and erase the wrongs he have done has not been forthcoming. I will be honest, first, I do not see many Africian-Americans actually voting for him and, secondly, I do not see any whites voting for him either, I think that he will lose money running this course. Clark Howard, Sam Olson, former Mayor Barnes, Bill Campbell, Former Mayor Young and, let’s not forget the others all would have the edge over him. The Attorney General in his service to the public needs to be upfront, open and vastly assured in his duties and not be weak to act on all cases presented before him, and those he must seek to bring charges thereof. I did not witness or see him acting on the part of the public behalf, but most against the public. I do not want to seem bias, so Mr. Attorney General Thurbert Baker, run if this be your wish and the goal you want to acheived!

Of Atlanta

April 1st, 2009
12:21 pm

“Thurbert Baker will never get my vote. Ever! He thinks that the black community is stupid enough to vote for him only because he is black. Hasn’t he heard? People select candidates because of their qualifications and character. And as far as I’m concerned he has neither.”

My thoughts *exactly.*

Richard Swinger

April 1st, 2009
12:22 pm

I cannot WAIT for Thurbert Baker to run for GA Governor so that I can NOT vote for him!!!

My skin is just as brown as his and he can not BUY my vote. I will write my own name in before I give it to this stooge.

DonR2002

April 1st, 2009
12:27 pm

You people have to be joking. AG Baker is one of the best public servants we have in this state. He does the right thing even when people like you complain that he shouldn’t do his job. I’m thrilled that someone decent is finally running for Governor instead of the same old same old people who’ve had plenty of chances to screw things up and have done just fine.

Ed

April 1st, 2009
12:32 pm

Enter your comments here

Ed

April 1st, 2009
12:33 pm

He’s joking. Right! This is certainly April fool day.

RobertOx

April 1st, 2009
12:35 pm

I like Thurbert Baker and I always have. I think he’s a stand up guy, and I’m glad there’s somebody like that willing to run for office these days. Lord knows we have enough of the other types around spending our money.

rural

April 1st, 2009
12:43 pm

Baker will most definitely get my vote. He is the only dem that can win this thing for the democrats in 2010. His conservative tendencies will be a huge asset in rural georgia.

sully

April 1st, 2009
12:55 pm

I’m african-american and I will in no way vote for him, he’s nothing but a chiken.

AAMaleGeorgia

April 1st, 2009
12:55 pm

Wow,

Now I’ve seen and now read it all! As an African-American male not only count me in the group that won’t vote for him, but I will actually do whatever it takes to campaign against him. What Baker and other politicians have got to realize is that the MAJORITY of the Black community and the larger community of Georgia as a whole are more aware of the issues that confront us and will not willingly give our vote to a man because of the color of his skin. AJC how about doing a little more investigative in your journalism. How do you substantiate the remark that his running could make the race “extremely tight”? Please provide some statistics or at least interview someone!

A man’s holiday that we now celebrate, once coined a phrase “that the true measure of a man is not where he stands in times of comfort…”

Remember that Thurgood and remember Genarlow!!!

Gary

April 1st, 2009
12:57 pm

Baker would be a good choice for Democrats. Outside of that old conservative Democrat Fossil, Tommy Irvin, Baker is the only Democrat who has won statewide recently that can win the job. Now can he win the Dem primary??? I think if it is just him and Porter then yes, maybe. Barnes will probably not run now because he, unlike Baker, lost his last statewide election and people will be reluctant to put him back in office. Plus those years from 99-03 were not very good ones at the state house.

Looks like we need to get ready for those “I approve this message ads” to be showing like crazy next year.

John

April 1st, 2009
12:58 pm

Thurbert Baker, Roy Barnes, DuBose Porter, and David Poythress all are more qualified than anyone mentioned on the Republican side. We never had the political posturing and the problems we have in state government when a Democrat held the office.

tc

April 1st, 2009
1:10 pm

Baker is lite weight compared to Barnes…

Barnes/Thurmond could give repubs a close race, but unfortunately, in this backward state, close is not good enough.

The Career Teacher

April 1st, 2009
1:14 pm

Things are so confusing now….I miss the good old days when Tom Murphy was the REAL governor for about a full generation, regardless of who lived in the mansion on Paces Ferry Road from time to time.

Sigh.

eazye

April 1st, 2009
1:24 pm

lol april fools day? lol he needs to go bald then he might have a chance…. doesnt he know that people can see he has a hair piece??. i wont vote for him just like i didnt vote for mike huckabee.lol he looks like jim nabors to me.. you know, GOMER PYLE….lol so goofy looking just like THUBERT BAKER.lol

The Snark

April 1st, 2009
1:37 pm

You people bashing Baker don’t know a thing about his job. He had NO LEGAL AUTHORITY — I repeat, NO LEGAL AUTHORITY — to help Genarlow Wilson get out of his conviction. NONE. If you want a Governor who does what he wants regardless of whether he has the legal authority to do so, then resurrect Gene Talmadge and see what you get.

Wishtherewasanalternative

April 1st, 2009
1:40 pm

As a Black woman who remembers the Genarlow Wilson debacle I look forward to casting my vote for Poythress for Governor.

Wishtherewasanalternative

April 1st, 2009
1:46 pm

The Snark..do you remember the case while you’re up on your high horse? Even when the courts wanted to release this young man Thurbert Baker continued to hold this young man in jail with his motions, etc. ..obviously you have a short memory and Thurbert Baker thinks the citizens do also.

[...] the Political Insider: With five GOP candidates already in the [...]

Marti Hernandez Rojas

April 1st, 2009
1:54 pm

He would make a good governor. He’s smart, ethical and is pro-business.

cathyhb

April 1st, 2009
1:55 pm

Thurbert Baker has been toting the Sonny and the Republicans water for the past eight years. Sounds like they’ve sent him out to get some more…

Edith McClusky

April 1st, 2009
1:58 pm

We need someone that can move Georgia forward in a new direction not backward.

Algonquin J. Calhoun

April 1st, 2009
2:08 pm

Hey, easy on Thurbert’s wig hat. He bought that at the Men’s Hair Warehouse. it’s a refurb previously worn by the late, and Honorable, Elijah Muhammad. A little re-blocking and it’ll look just fine.

snafu

April 1st, 2009
2:08 pm

Thurbert Baker needs to give it a rest. He is spineless and a fraud. He was read to let Genarlo Wilson rot in jail for something he too has done when he was younger. We need to send him the message loud and clear that we will not vote for him. This man cannot admit to his hair loss now why in the hell would I want that for governor. Its not about the color of his skin its about him as a person and he sucks.

Now the Democrats need to find new blood to run in this governor’s race. Its time to stop recycling the bad politicians and get these people out of office. Georgia when will you wake up and stop voting for these crooks over and over. Time for a drastic change.

Greg Worthington

April 1st, 2009
2:08 pm

Jim Galloway, who is also white, will not be running for governor. lol.

I don’t know how good of a chance AG Baker has, but he would probably be a good governor.

Ronnie

April 1st, 2009
2:09 pm

I will not vote for him.. This is crazy..Someone pls tell him to sit down.

The Snark

April 1st, 2009
2:16 pm

Wishtherewasanalternative:

You don’t know what you’re talking about. The Attorney General has no power to hold anyone in jail. Baker didn’t hold Wilson or anyone in jail. Wilson’s prosecution and conviction were completely within the control of the county District Attorney. And before you fire off another ignorant response, be advised that Georgia’s District Attorneys are independent of the Attorney General.

Braves 82

April 1st, 2009
2:17 pm

Back in ‘98, the Democratic were torn between Roy Barnes and Lewis Massey, while Guy Millner sat on the sideline waiting for the bloodied winner. Massey withdrew from the race to help the Democrats, and Barnes went on to beat Millner in an upset. (Barnes could’ve returned the favor to Massey by appointing him Coverdell’s empty U.S. Sentate seat, but Zig Zag Zell got the appointment. Of course, that move costs Dems a future party leader and at the same time created a monster – well, Zell’s never been loyal and has always been self-serving, so I guess the word “created” doesn’t apply.) I wonder if any of these Democrats or Republicans are noble enough to withdraw from this race for the good of their party?

BernieDawg

April 1st, 2009
2:22 pm

Not excited about Baker. But has to be better than Barnes.

Wishtherewasanalternative

April 1st, 2009
2:35 pm

LOL..Guess that’s the story Thurbert is going to put out in order to get some votes..won’t work Snarky. However, most people blogging are voters so keep up with the criticism and highhanded remarks because you’re so much smarter than any of us anyway..lol..

rural

April 1st, 2009
2:51 pm

I don’t understand all of the bad comments about baker. It seems everyone is not going to vote for him because of the Genarlow Wilson case. That’s one case & it’s not going to determine if i’m going to vote for baker or not. If a poll comes out tommorrow, I bet it would show him in the lead over all of the republican candidates.

AppleSeed

April 1st, 2009
2:54 pm

GO BAKER!!!!

Will Jones - Atlanta

April 1st, 2009
2:55 pm

Years ago I was working up in Coob County when, having one of his earlier adulteries made public and redistricting, Newt Gingrich was elected again to the U.S. House. Astounded that the great and good people of Marietta, et al, would endorse such a scandalous pervert, my customer suggested that they voted for someone like them.

Adulterers vote for adulterers. Perverts vote for perverts. Traitors vote for traitors…and those who have no problem with an otherwise healthy man wearing a wig for vanity’s sake, despite biblical and common sense prohibition, see no problem voting for Thurbert Baker.

He apparently has no integrity. What wigwearer does? Why does he think Our Founders stopped wearing the wigs common to the English false-elite from whom we revolted?

From his official website – one of his enumerated duties in office:

Conducting special investigations into questionable activity concerning any state agency or department or a person or business that has done business with the State of Georgia.

He says he’s the People’s lawyer and everyone knows Gov. Perdue skirted law and ethics when he had his pal deal him a customized tax law to profit from his real estate shenanigans.

What became of Baker’s investigation into this very public matter?

How did you exercise his position of Public Trust and authority to bring to justice the police in Columbus and Gwinett who murdered our innocent fellow Georgians?

Baker supporters: Tell us of his proven integrity, Probity. Recount to us his difficult, unpopular positions on the side of Truth and Righteousness, to protect the rights of the People.

Give us the stuff of the legend Thurbert Baker, who despite his vain wigwearing is “actually” a real man. Tell us why he is your hero.

EL-ect mean the EL-evation of one of us, by Annuit Coeptis and the Grace of G-d, to guide Our State in Righteousness. Tell us of the stories which mark his greatness and godliness that just never seemed to have made it into the local news.

[Sound of Crickets over deep silence]

Randall

April 1st, 2009
2:58 pm

The snark– you are idiot dude. AG Baker had all authority to intervene in the G. Wislon case. His job is to uphold justice, not stand on the sidelines to appease voters. This makes so much sense why he didn’t intervene in the Columbus, GA killing of an unarmed man; makes sense his foolish decisions in Gwinnett and Douglas. The only redemming quality I can think of is his REFUSAL to file paperwork on behald of the inept and corrupt Sonny Perdue, exempting GA from The Voting Rights Act. However, Frank Ski and Wanda have a better chance of getting my vote than this clown. It takes more than just looking like me to win my vote.