Your morning jolt: A straw poll in the race for lieutenant governor, other manuevering

Ignoring the gorgeous weather, both Democrats and Republicans continued shaping the 2010 field over the weekend.

Republicans held congressional district conventions intended to select another round of delegates to the state convention In Savannah on May 15 and 16.

Candidates for governor where highly active, as were two of the three current candidates for lieutenant governor: Eric Johnson of Savannah and David Shafer of Duluth.

Both are contemplating how to proceed, now that Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle has announced he’s running for re-election as governor.

Numerous straw polls were held — too many to mention. But one in the 11th District, for lieutenant governor, is worth mentioning. Johnson won 61 percent, to Cagle’s 21 percent. Shafer drew 13 percent.

So Jason Shepherd reports on PeachPundit.

Note that this is prime territory for House Speaker Glenn Richardson, and that might have had a bearing. (Johnson was also the only lite gov candidate there. Shafer supporters also told us that their man ordered the suspension of aggressive campaigning — T-shirts, buttons and such — while he pondered the implications of Cagle’s decision.)

In the 11th District straw poll for governor, Republican states rightist Ray McBerry had 22 percent — behind state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, but ahead of Secretary of State Karen Handel.

Also heard in the mix: state Sen. Judson Hill (R-Vinings) is on the verge of announcing for attorney general.

On the other side, Young Democrats convened with speeches from former U.S. senator Max Cleland and state party chairman Jane Kidd.

Tondee’s Tavern reports that state Sen. Tim Golden of Valdosta is “definitely” a candidate for lieutenant governor.

While state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond says he’ll play utility infielder and “go wherever he’s needed” — whether lieutenant governor or remaining in his current post. Or running against Republican incumbent Sen. Johnny Isakson in 2010.

Late Friday, we picked up some talk that former DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones was contemplating a statewide race. If you’ve heard any specifics, please send them on.

In the meantime, consider these items found while perusing this morning’s

  • Despite an iffy track record, FDA wants states to grade their own inspectors.
  • Tax breaks use the state budget to test trickle-down theory.
  • Despite recession, lobbyists still spent big bucks during session.
  • Tom Price emerges as voice for Obama opposition.
  • “Zero” chance of a comeback for Cathy Cox.
  • When it comes to high-speed rail, Georgia isn’t on the fast track.
  • Future blurry for cameras at metro Atlanta intersections.
  • Some opinion:

  • Jim Wooten theorizes that more may consider run for governor.
  • Cynthia Tucker says halt war on drugs, but target the kingpins.
  • Phil Kent says english-only test for drivers needed for state road safety.
  • And from elsewhere:

  • WSJ: White House to put credit-card rates in crosshairs.
  • WP: Ruth Marcus on Sarah Palin’s personal choice.
  • NYT: Waterboarding used 266 times on two suspects.
  • CQ: Wiretap recorded Democratic congresswoman with suspected Israeli agent.
  • LAT: The development of smaller, deadlier missiles for drones.
  • For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

    6 comments Add your comment


    April 20th, 2009
    9:26 am

    Thanks to Brian and Tommy for targeting the vote in the 9th district straw poll, an overwhelming win for my man Ox.


    April 20th, 2009
    12:14 pm

    Thankfully straw polls are meaningless.

    Since the Republican takeover of Georgia, they’ve managed to drag this state behind Alabama and Mississippi. Put a stop to it. Vote Democratic in 2010.

    George P. Burdell

    April 20th, 2009
    3:18 pm

    Burnin’ Vernon? Statewide race? Didn’t he learn a lesson after getting beat in the primaries by a guy with all the charisma and excitement of a pile of wet towels??

    Josh McKoon

    April 20th, 2009
    3:38 pm


    A small point, but the GOP Congressional District Conventions do not elect delegates to the State Convention. They elect members of the State Committee and the officers of the Congressional District Committee.

    9th CD Delegate

    April 20th, 2009
    5:02 pm

    Ask Ox, the fire chief or Forsyth County Sheriff Paxton about that lil “Jail Inspection” regarding “capacity”. THAT ONE COST MILLIONS! And almost pulled the wool over voters eyes in building a new jail (what was the sticker on that CIA-type $700,000 design? $70 MILLION?) When’s this story going to break? Get with it Jim!

    Save Georgia

    April 25th, 2009
    9:16 am

    Thurbert Baker will NEVER win. He has no support in the African-American community based on his decisions regarding key cases – like Genarlow Wilson.

    TB doesn’t even require his own staff to follow the law, so how can Georgians trust this man? He employs people as favors to others, credentials, integrity and morality have no place in his decisions apparently.