Why Perdue’s likely to call a May special election to fill Deal’s 9th District seat

Updated at 3:50 p.m.:

One of the questions generated by U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal’s decision to delay his departure from Congress is whether it might cause Gov. Sonny Perdue to schedule the non-partisan special election to fill out the rest of the congressman’s term at the same time as the July primary to decide who gets the full term come January.

Concurrent votes, it has been theorized, would boost the July turnout in north Georgia – which might benefit Deal in the Republican race for governor.

Concurrent votes might also save counties some money, it has been posited.

But here’s why Perdue is still likely to call a special election this spring, probably early to mid-May – aside from the fact that Deal and Perdue have never really gotten along:

Under Georgia law, the runoff period for special elections is four weeks. But the runoff period for general primaries is three weeks.

A special election in May would, in this candidate-heavy contest, probably result in a June runoff. Followed by a July primary for the full term. That’s a lot of voting.

But if the special election and the primary vote were held at the same time, you’d have an even more confusing calendar:

– Two July primary votes;

– A likely runoff on Aug. 10 for the term that begins in January 2011.

–Followed by an Aug 17 runoff vote to settle who fills out the rest of Deal’s term.

Counties in the 9th District would still be burdened with the extra cost of one vote. And voters would be hard put to keep up with what they’re voting for.

The bet here is that the governor will call for a May special election.

Update: Just ran into someone in the state Capitol who expounded on this topic. Assume, he said, the May special election and a June runoff.

The July primary vote could easily become a rematch between the top two vote-getters. In which there would be no primary runoff, and county-by-county expenses are further reduced.

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17 comments Add your comment

frugal voter

March 8th, 2010
2:25 pm

A special election in May would be best. Then sleaze Deal would not be able to change his mind about leaving Congress after he gets trounced in the Gubernatorial primary.

will

March 8th, 2010
2:31 pm

Nathan Deal came into the gubernatorial contest as a pragmatic republican who could draw independents and democrats if he won the primary.

He has become a non-factor almost overnight by his heavy handed attempt to “out tea party” the other republicans with his silly letter to President Obama regarding the President’s place of birth. The “birther” wing of the republican/tea party has seen this as nothing but politics and moderates and democrats will most likely stick with the demo nominee in November.

Grandpa Joe

March 8th, 2010
2:36 pm

We know Lee Hawkins is no friend of the Tea Party. He said he has nothing to do with them over the weekend. Good to know where he stands on that issue, and frankly I appreciate his openness and honesty in saying he associated with them.

Grandpa Joe

March 8th, 2010
2:36 pm

Associated with them – as in not at all.

Laura Hill

March 8th, 2010
2:40 pm

I don’t care when the election is held, I will not be supporting an anti-tea party candidate who is calling himself a Republican.

Hawkins is a RINO.

Jim Harris

March 8th, 2010
3:02 pm

Jim,

Deal decided to stay? Why would an election be called now?

Susan J

March 8th, 2010
3:23 pm

I’ve heard all the candidates to replace Deal. Bill Stephens has my vote.

Laura Hill

March 8th, 2010
3:29 pm

Stephens is a nice guy and a much better choice in comparison to Liberal Lee.

Laura Hill

March 8th, 2010
3:31 pm

Susan J – I know Lee Hawkins is anti-Tea Party, but give me a few reasons in comparison to your candidate that the readers shouldn’t event think of supporting him? Weren’t they both Senators if I am correct?

Marlboro Man

March 8th, 2010
4:04 pm

Tea is not a party. It is a loose knit group of hotheads being mooched on by the republicans. They are sheep that simply broke away from the flock. They do nothing about local tax problems, only want national attention. Old lines, nothing new to add.

Susan J

March 8th, 2010
4:11 pm

Laura- They can all say the right things now when they are campaigning, but Stephens is the only one with a record that has shown real leadership.

Yeller Dog

March 8th, 2010
8:02 pm

Is anyone completely clear on how Deal’s resignation impacts the 12 district race to fill Tom Graves’ seat in the legislature?

Would the 12th district primary still be held in July or would it have to be moved to a different date?

whatever

March 8th, 2010
10:44 pm

@ CREW…….I think I speak for everyone when I say…..please shut up already.

CREW FAIR & BALANCED

March 9th, 2010
6:53 am

@ whatever…….I think I speak for everyone when I say………..Georgia doesn’t need a crook like DEAL for Governor.

????

March 9th, 2010
7:53 am

Who is the biggest crook, The Deal or The Ox? I think the OX is #1 but when King Roy finishes with Mr 15 Corrupt Deal, we’ll all think it’s the REAL DEAL.

whatever

March 9th, 2010
9:19 am

@ Crew……opinions, opinions…….

Been Around-Done That

March 9th, 2010
10:48 am

As a 100% disabled war veteran, Bill Stephens is my choice too. I have known him for years and he is a people person who really cares about others. Bill can be depended upon to serve “all the folks” in the Ninth District and not just a few. Bill is a work horse…not a show horse. That is what we need to represent us in these difficult economic times instead of some “one issue” candidate. Go Bill!