The possibilities of a husband-and-wife ticket in Georgia

Somebody pick up the phone and call Fox. We’ve got a reality show brewing.

Late last month, DuBose Porter, a Dublin newspaper publisher and Democratic candidate for governor, couldn’t make it to a small-business forum in Atlanta. So his wife of 26 years subbed for him.

Carol Porter did well, as anyone who has watched the YouTube video will attest. So well that the couple is considering whether she should enter the 2010 campaign as a candidate for lieutenant governor. The husband and wife would run as a ticket.

“Over the last several weeks, there’s been a viral movement that has taken on a life of its own,” said DuBose Porter, the House minority leader. “There truly is no one more qualified or who knows the issues better. She’s an awesome person. She’d make an awesome candidate.”

With a general election only nine months away, Democrats have yet to field a single candidate for lieutenant governor. (State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond is often mentioned as a possibility, but has yet to make a decision.) Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, the Republican incumbent, has no primary opposition.

“Thoughtful consideration is going into it,” said Carol Porter, general manager of the family’s small newspaper chain. “Quite frankly, I’m just not sure that Casey needs a cakewalk.”

The Porter campaign — the gubernatorial one — is asking supporters if they’re open to the idea.

The partnership would be unique in Georgia politics. Candidates for governor and lieutenant governor, regardless of party, do not endorse each other, much less share the same bed. Or, for that matter, the same children — four grown sons, in this case. Media attention would be significant.

The public is familiar with spouses acting as behind-the-scenes strategists. Witness the recently dissolved partnership between Mark and Jenny Sanford in South Carolina. But a candidate’s spouse in search of her own votes is a plot line that many voters might judge worth following.

The only Southern precedent even slightly comparable might be Lurleen Wallace’s decision to run for governor of Alabama in 1966 — as a surrogate for her term-limited husband, George Wallace.

But Carol Porter can’t be termed a sock puppet. “I don’t believe that would fit,” she said. “I feel very comfortable with the issues. I have a fairly clear vision, as does DuBose, about what the problems are and what the solutions are.”

With her husband in the state Capitol much of the time, Carol Porter is the business side of the family equation. She’s the one on the board of the local Chamber of Commerce.

Her husband was born in Dublin, but her background is slightly more eclectic. The daughter of a Wrightsville, Ga., doctor, she went to boarding school at Woodward Academy in College Park. She graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in psychology. She dabbles in folk art.

Many Democrats are baffled by the possibility of a husband-and-wife strategy. Others dismiss it as a publicity stunt that smacks of desperation.

Former Gov. Roy Barnes has dominated every statewide poll among Georgia Democrats, and DuBose Porter ranked fourth among five Democrats in fund-raising last year — behind Barnes, Attorney General Thurbert Baker and former National Guard commander David Poythress.

Both Porters argue that, in a one-two campaign, they would complement each other’s fund-raising efforts, not dilute them.

But the advantage may be this: With or without money, Carol Porter’s entry into the lieutenant governor’s contest would immediately raise her profile — and, through a shared story line, that of her husband.

In essence, the Porters could double their message at a very low cost. Those who know her would agree that Carol Porter’s speeches often have more edge than those of her husband. She would be the voice that says the things that he can’t.

“I’m a fiery, passionate person who truly cares, and I would like to see the children of this state get a great education. Because I think corruption is what’s holding us back,” Carol Porter said. “If we could just not run it on campaign donors — for once. If we could just do what’s right, just one good time, and get it all running and turn the economy around and educate the children. Georgia’s such a great spot. It has everything — except leadership.”

There is, of course, the matter of what would happen should they both win — first in July, then in November. But that’s an entirely different story line.

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29 comments Add your comment


February 17th, 2010
6:51 pm

The dilemma is that Carol Porter is imminently more qualified and more likeable than her husband. Some friends and I met the couple at a Midtown round-up a few months ago, and we took the opportunity to tear into DuBose for his anti-progressive voting record. Carol Porter went into damage control mode and spent a great deal of time talking with us while DuBose escaped the line of fire. It was universally agreed among my friends that we would never vote for DuBose, but would be awfully tempted to support his wife.


February 17th, 2010
7:36 pm

DuBose and Carol are both awesome Democrats. In the House, DuBose is greatly respected for his leadership of the Democrats. Considering the largely Republican district that keeps sending him back, his voting record is extremely progressive. Republicans and Democrats vote for him because he makes SENSE. He’s a unique Democrat who is able to help Republicans see why they shouldn’t keep voting against their interests. Look at his record on education, the environment, or anything else. He understands issues and can discuss them in depth. Carol is amazing in her own right. Talk with both of them!

dan deacon

February 17th, 2010
8:10 pm

There is no Democrat candidate that even holds a candle to being able to achieve what’s needed by the leadership of the governorship for our great state. Thurmond Baker….you’ve got to be kidding, what a joke for anyone to even consider voting (much less actually vote) for this unqualified rookie (absolutely no leadership skills and no knowledge of what it takes to even run a state that is in good economic and political position). Roy Barnes….hopefully everyone’s memory has not failed them and dimentia set in. Barnes was two faced, double timed and nearly damned the educational system, treating our teachers with no respect or dignity. His tenure during governorship wrecked this great state and caused multiple turmoils within our leadership causing the legislatures to fight amonst themselves and grave partinship.

The man that should be our next governor is not running and not many people even know about this outstanding Senator. He walks very lightly, never toots his own horn, takes care of business and does so in an ethical, honest way. His name…….Tommie Williams. Let’s all try to get Tommie to run for Governor and straighten out this great state of ours.


February 17th, 2010
8:35 pm

Let’s see… “walks lightly, never toots his own horn, takes care of business and does so in an open and honest way…” If those are your standards for Georgia’s next Governor, then your person IS in the race — DuBose Porter. DuBose has never been interested in having the limelight or showboating. He’s always been focused on the people’s business. That might be why not a lot of people know about him statewide.

All that is about to change. Think about what DuBose could accomplish for the people of Georgia in the Governor’s office (and Carol in the Lt. Governor’s office!).


February 17th, 2010
9:43 pm

that no one is opposing Casey Cagle is bind blowing to me. He presides over one of the most DO NOTHING groups in recent history. That they have dropped the ball on so many occasions and there is no one who wants to challenge him?? I’d vote for a rock before him…and a rock couldn’t do much worse (and if elected 4 yrs ago I’d say do better)

this is a joke

February 17th, 2010
9:55 pm

what are we thinking people? Carol Porter should run for Lt. Governor? What are the Porter’s doing–hedging their bets? If Dubose doesn’t make it and he won’t–we’ll have Carol on the ticket and she might win Lt. Governor???? Georgia Democrats–this is not going to happen. This is a waste of time. Is Dubose so desperate for media attention he has now thrown his wife into the fray?


February 17th, 2010
10:02 pm

Win, lose, or draw, at least honest, hardworking people will be on the ballot for the two highest offices in Georgia politics if she decides to run. I say go for it. The people of Georgia deserve quality leaders, and folks, what we got now ain’t that.

this is a joke

February 17th, 2010
10:50 pm

So, all it takes is someone speaking at a forum and they are ready to govern and lead this state. Well, I know a lot of folks that have gone to the Dale Carnegie School for public speaking do they qualify as well? The campaign staffers of Dubose need to get off this blog and legitimately try and get their candidate some media attention. This is not the way to get elected. I looked at Porter’s disclosures he isn’t paying anyone that knows this state. This candidacy is a waste of time.


February 18th, 2010
1:15 am

Anyone who knows Carol Porter knows she is qualified to be Lt. Gov. I love this idea and the story! Porters for Georgia :)


February 18th, 2010
8:59 am

Other posters are clearly more knowlegeable than I on Carol Porter. However, I can’t help but think that a person who sits on the board of her local Chamber, “dabbles in folk art” and did well in a single public meeting would be raw meat to Casey Cagle and his suave attack machine. Not to mention be a tad short on qualifications to be the traditional heartbeat away from executive authority in a state nearing meltdown. What am I missing?


February 18th, 2010
9:09 am

When, when, when IS someone going to run against Cagle?? I don’t get it. There is so much dirt out there on him that it is not even funny. The Governor knows and a bunch of us know of his shenanigans. He’s toast if someone runs against him. As far as Mrs. Porter running, well, while she appears to be a fine lady, it just strikes me as odd that she has waited until now (when her husband could use from free publicity since he can’t raise any money). Seems a tad suspect.


February 18th, 2010
10:11 am

Based on recent history, raising money for political campaigns only puts candidates in a position to “repay” once he/she gets elected. Money is not the issue; making decisions based on what’s best for ALL Georgians is!(the “haves” and the “havenots”) Go Porters!

GT '93

February 18th, 2010
10:43 am

I’d never vote for him, but she is alright.

ga voter

February 18th, 2010
10:43 am

If Carol Porter wants to do something she is qualified for…she can plan on giving Dubose’s concession speech on election night. I hear she is a great public speaker!


February 18th, 2010
10:48 am

How much did the Porters pay you, Galloway? Why does this nonsense deserve two blog posts without much difference between the two? They were bad candidates then and they are still bad candidates now

Once a penal colony...

February 18th, 2010
11:01 am

…always a penal colony. The only thing that scares me more than a career politician’s wife getting the lt. governorship is her husband getting the governorship. The fact that some people may actually support this shows exactly how we ended up with the corrupt government we have currently.

Emory Texan

February 18th, 2010
11:09 am

Even if she doesn’t run or doesn’t run successfully, this is a pretty creative way to garner more attention. One could argue that to turn this state around, the governor is going to need a lot of out-of-the-box type thinking to make ends meet while working to solve the multitude of problems Georgia faces. I think this move shows that “Team Porter” isn’t happy with the status quo and isn’t afraid to try something different, if it means moving towards the goal. Should be interesting to see how it pans out…

Glory Glory

February 18th, 2010
11:51 am

Go back to Texas, Emory carpetbagger. Georgia doesn’t need outside the box thinking, it needs stability and proven changes. Georgia was much better off before our current idiot of a Governor and there is no reason Barnes cannot bring back the prosperity. Roy can right the ship and he has the record to prove it. Anyone else would just be a mistake at this important crossroad. Roy 2010!

Uncle Jessie

February 18th, 2010
12:03 pm

This hyar is Dublin & East Dublin ( Home of The Redneck Games ) we is talking bout. Hazzard county is more like it. Dubose and Carol Porter is bout like Luke and Daisy Duke. Boss Hawg and Sheriff Enus is whooping it up. This is jest what Gawga needs to get us some real good attention.

Jim, I am LMAO

February 18th, 2010
12:55 pm

Carol is a force of nature, there is usually a swath of destruction where she goes. She is unstoppable when she is on the move. Do you know any one that has ever gotten on her bad side? not pretty. /facts/truth becomes defined as she sees it- not reality….Did Roy plant this idea? Jim, i am still LMAO at the concept of this pair in office. Are they really serious?


February 18th, 2010
1:54 pm

This can’t be real and has been a funny publicity stunt. Carol Porter is beyond unqualified to become Lt. Gov. My favorite comments over the last couple of days are ones saying “I know DuBose & Carol, they’re good people, blah, blah.” If you really KNOW Carol, you know she is crazy and has no earthly idea what she is doing. This is the equivalent to Sarah Palin trying to become President. Thanks for the laughs Jim!


February 18th, 2010
3:05 pm

In the governor’s race, the two strongest Democrats are Poythress and Porter. I’d be happy with either one.
Barnes was a fine governor, and I’d vote for him in the general, but I’m afraid he’d lose due to excessive baggage. The way for Democrats to win is to make the election about Republicans’ inability to govern; a Barnes candidacy muddies the waters by making the election also about Barnes’s record. Yes, Barnes compares well to Perdue, but Perdue won’t be the nominee this fall. Instead it will be either Handel or Dean (outside shot to Johnson), who will say “I won’t make the mistakes Perdue made”, and then the election turns into a referendum on Barnes, almost as if Barnes were the incumbent.
That’s not the right dynamic for Democrats. Porter or Poythress would make it more of a referendum on Republicans. I’m leaning to Poythress, in part because of his record as an administrator (Sec. of State & Labor) and military record; in part because I’m sure the Repubs would distort Porter’s voting record in the legislature.


February 18th, 2010
3:08 pm

As for AG Thurbert Baker, I hope he’ll run for Lt. Gov. As a team with either Porter or Poythress, that would be formidable.

Cagle is beatable. He is a mediocrity who is Lt. Gov. only by virtue of NOT being Ralph Reed.


February 18th, 2010
11:23 pm

I see the other candidates have their bloggers out in force. The only question I have is can two honest people actually make it. For the sake of the state I hope so. Want to know where the corruption is. Follow the money. Roy B failed one time why are you listening to his sock puppets on here and why are they so scared of Carol and Dubose.

People even third world counties have rail service between major population centers. Why not GA.

Roy Barnes has raised Million from rich law firms and lobbyist in metro Atlanta. Don’t you think we have had enough of that.

Hank Swenson

February 19th, 2010
2:33 pm

That would be quite comical, especially if they got elected…


February 19th, 2010
2:56 pm

Let’s just hope that two honest people can get elected. I have known both them over 28 years. Good honest hardworking small business owners. Dubose is A+ rated by the NRA and has been fighting the culture of corruption in Atlanta for over 30 years. Any of you who think they are greedy Liberals do not know them. Dubose and Carol are both very active in their community and church, and have raised 4 sons who are all eagle scouts. If you want to continue to see this state slide into bankruptcy, while our education system shuts down, vote for Oxedine, Barnes and the other corrupt insiders who have raised millions from trial lawyers and big companies.

If you want good schools, rapid rail, improved transportation, openness in government, then vote for the Porters.

Just for the record–I have always voted Republican and I am conservative but ask yourself this…The first full republican majority since reconstruction has seen the largest property tax increase in history and the state is almost bankrupt.


February 21st, 2010
3:55 pm

Dumbest thing I have ever heard. The Porters need to get a grip if they want either one of them to be taken seriously.

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